Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Real Issue: L3SO CONCENTRATION The Culprit: (dare we say?) THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS



Photo from wikimedia, blog post by The Walking Drum

Ok we have made some real progress here in identifying the real issue. We all agree that L3SOs are too heavily concentrated in the 55411 and 12 zip codes of Nomi. Now let's capitalize on that. Let's take that same energy that has gone into bashing the STrib (well-deserved bashing, I might add) and apply it to tackling this problem head on. With budget cuts and a recession the Department of Corrections might start making some "judgment calls" that might increase the number of L3SOs coming out on the street. They might become more lenient at parole hearings in favor of not having to pay for one more prison bed. Who knows. These comments are of course conjecture but the fact remains, this problem is not going to go away on its own.

There was a similar mountain to climb in the Eco-village. We had...


....four to five properties that we could see that were a network of drug dealing and prostitution. Tackling the issue independently as individual residents of NoMi, we felt very isolated, alone, unable to accomplish anything. But then we started coordinating our efforts. We started doing repeated targeted 911 calling. Through the neighborhood association we got the attention of the Fourth Precinct, and housing inspections. Pretty soon everyone wanted to make this area a top priority to clean up. After stirring up that coordinated response within 18 months that area was completely "salesman" free and to my knowledge is still relatively free of drug traffic.

You say, Hey I know all of this. Well I'm saying let's take this same "Raising the Shire" approach to the L3SO problem and see what we can dig up. We can't just sit around and wait for these problems to go away. We have got to pick them off one at a time, even if it means taking on the Department of Corrections. Let's get the name of Peter Richard Stephenson's Parole Officer and ask him/her what his decision making process was that led him to believe it was OK to infuse another L3SO into an already L3SO saturated area. Let's ask his/her supervisor the same question. See if they match up and then compare their responses to what the law reads. Can you imagine what would happen if the same 20 commentators on the last blog post did this. What kind of impact it would have on the parole officer. What kind of impact would it have on his supervisor? I guarantee you both of them would think twice before they ever put another L3SO in NoMi.

We might have to ask Linda Higgins what her take is on this whole issue. Maybe she knows something that we should. If we have gotten the attention of Mayor RT Rybak and most of City Council, let's get the attention of Governor Tim Pawlenty and a few senators and representatives. Let's show them how this is important to us and why it needs to be important to them. After all they are only one city away.

Hey, what have we got to lose? At least the parole officers won't torch our vehicles...

76 comments:

Johnny Northside said...

Peter Rickmyer's parole officer or whatever they call her...zookeeper, whatever...is as follows:

bobbie.chevalier-jones@co.hennepin.mn.us

Gary said...

Leave the L3SO's in the northside. We don't want them out here in the suburbs (not that they could afford it out here, anyway).

I love your blog JNS, but I hope you fail in this endeavor.

Trudrud said...

Hey Gary,
The Northside is not your dumping ground. This is our home, our community, and it isn't right or fair that we should have to shoulder a burden like this. People whose actions are nothing short of monstrous are imposed on our community constantly, even when they were born, raised, and shaped into what they are elsewhere.
We have every right to be outraged that the suburbs and the rest of the city are using our neighborhoods as a landfill for their human garbage.
Our citizens and our kids deserve safety and security just as much as yours. It's disgusting that people from the suburbs so happily dump their problems on North, then have the nerve to call the place a wasteland and characterize our home as a hopeless, horrible place unworthy of the resources it needs so badly to deal with the issues that have been imposed on it.
The concentration of sex offenders is just one example of the larger picture here. Think of it like a sheet of ice on the surface of a lake: if you pile all the weight on top of one point, the ice will break, leaving a hole, a blemish in the ice sheet. If it is spread out evenly, the ice can hold firm and handle the mass. It's the same for North. When a concentration of sex offenders, criminal offenders, and poverty is piled high on an isolated community, that community begins to buckle under the load. It's definitely something that suburbanites would be wise to worry about, because if our community becomes that hole in the ice, the burden will need a new place to pile its ever-growing weight, and it could just be your home.
The thing is that we don't have to sacrifice any of our communities to begin with. The burden just needs to be broken up and dispersed evenly across the larger cluster of all the communities.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind, folks in the suburb pay much higher property value's to have a better neighborhood with less crime and less of everything that makes NOMI a poor place to live. When people buy houses for $20k move in and then complain that the crime is high and the place is full of society's ilk it's almost comical that you blame the suburbs. You can move out as well as us no one said you had to live in NOMI. Why do you think you got your house so cheap. To expect to buy cheap and then have everyone else pay a cost to start cleaning up your neighborhood so your property value can rise is basically just another form of welfare.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:04 said:
To expect to buy cheap and then have everyone else pay a cost to start cleaning up your neighborhood so your property value can rise is basically just another form of welfare.

Dennis responds:
Ah, you're incorrect there buddy. There are laws on the books that prohibit L3SO's from concentrating. No one's asking for welfare, we're just asking that you don't dumpy YOUR share of trash in OUR yards.

Tom Cleland said...

The Star Tribune June 9, 2008 wrote this about Peter Rickmyer: “…the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered his release in 1994, ruling that his conduct, ‘while repellent, [does] not constitute the kind of injury, pain, “or other evil”’ envisioned by the law…. In 2004, he was living in Minneapolis when a jury convicted him of criminal sexual conduct for spanking two teenage girls who worked in the restaurant he managed. He was sentenced to three years in prison and 10 years on probation.”

Johnny, are you saying that the current laws aren’t strong enough, or that they aren’t being enforced properly? Do you dispute Rickmyer’s release, or just his lawsuit against you? – Tommy Truthside

Johnny Northside said...

Well, if you must know, I dispute his release. He was released from Moose Lake and went right out and offended again. He should have gone back to Moose Lake at that point.

As for disputing his lawsuit, well, me and almost a score of other folks would be disputing that, including the neighborhood association of Jordan.

Come on, Tom, I've dealt with you before. You are a smart and reasonable man. Do you really think it's fair for L3SOs to be dumped in my neighborhood--which is poor and predominantly people of color? And on top of that, a state statute says L3SOs are not supposed to be "concentrated?"

But we have six within a block...three in a building...loads of them in my zip code. The public believes they are "closely supervised" but our experience on the ground says otherwise, their leash is incredibly long, long enough to demand an opportunity to be present at a church program where there are children and then TWICE SUE THE CHURCH LADIES for being told to leave.

The big, tough DOC cowers in fear at the thought of "lawsuits" from these sex offenders, leaving it to my neighborhood association to be sued for, good god, trying to report on their outrageous behavior.

Even your hero, Al Flowers, doesn't appear to be fond of child molesters being dumped in North Minneapolis. I hope I'm reading him correctly in that regard, but my gut says I am. Say what you like about Al Flowers, the man is a parent and therefore the natural enemy of "chimos."

Johnny Northside said...

Readers, please note...

Due to some HTML errors, a version of this post appeared on the blog where truncated bits of text came after the "read more." Readers who clicked on "read more" were still able to see the full story.

If you read part of this story and it was confusing--the way things on the MPLS Mirror are mixed up and confusing--my apologies.

Anonymous said...

John, North Dakota apparently releases full addresses of serious sex offenders- there's an article in wensday's Fargo Forum announcing the move of one. They give full street addresses for both the offenders new and old residences.

Johnny Northside said...

OK, so that's four states so far:

Texas. Florida. North Dakota. And...I think somebody said Indiana?

I'd like to get a comprehensive list!

M. Clinton said...

I have a little issue with the above poster who made the welfare comment above. Ummmm..... ACTUALLY, I doubt these offenders are born and raised residents of North Minneapolis. They come from other places - many probably from much "nicer" places. But we absorb the undesirables from all of these "nice" other places - so that these "nice" places stay "nice" and retain their "value.". In the meantime, while taking on this burden for everyone else, we suppress our own values and livability. Wouldn't that be US subsidizing THEM?? I can't even fathom how it could be construed any other way. I have to thank that commenter for pointing this out. Yes, many of our "nice" conservative areas are actually on welfare! And NoMi is picking up the tab!! Who would have thought?? A lot of folks benefit by concentrations of a lot of problems in NoMi. It's time others shoulder their share their of society's burdens. NoMi has done MORE than its share and for way too long.

Pond-dragon said...

To Anon @ 1:04
Evidently you would prefer we live under a monarchy?
Just think of these words carefully very carefully:
"We believe these truths to be self evident, All men are created equal"

What do you think they mean? How much equal you can buy?

M. Clinton said...

From the Arizona DOC website:

The notification shall include a flyer with a photograph and exact address of the offender as well as a summary of the offender's status and criminal background. A press release and a level two or three flyer shall be given to the local electronic and print media to enable information to be placed in a local publication."

M. Clinton said...

From the Maine Department of Public Safety:

The registration information contained on this web site will be updated on a daily basis to reflect the most current information on file with the State Bureau of Identification. The date of the last update is displayed on each page. Registrants are required to verify their address on a periodic basis and upon a change of address. The date of the last address verification is indicated next to the registrant’s address.

M. Clinton said...

From the Masachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety regarding requests of information about sex offenders:

The requester may inquire whether any sex offenders live, works or attends an institution of higher learning within the same city or town of a specific address, including, but not limited to, a residential address, business address, school, after school program, day care center, playground, recreational area or other identified address

M. Clinton said...

Michigan:


The Michigan State Police (MSP) Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR). The Sex Offenders Registration Act, MCL 28.721et seq., directs the MSP to develop and maintain a PSOR. Information available on the PSOR includes an offender's name, address, offense information, and a photograph.
Click Here To Search This Database

M. Clinton said...

Illinois DOC website:

The data contained herein pertains only to those offenders under parole supervision or mandatory supervised release from the Illinois Department of Corrections who are required to register as Sex Offenders per Illinois statute. The address information is updated by the Parole Division of the Department and may differ from that displayed on the Illinois State Police Sex Offender Registry web site; www.isp.state.il.us.

M. Clinton said...

Iowa Sex Offender Registry:

If the individual is registered with the Iowa Sex Offender Registry as of the date and time of the inquiry, you will receive a computer printout indicating that information. The printout will include the individual’s name, address and physical descriptors including scars, marks and tattoos. The printout will not disclose information about the crime or the victim(s).

M. Clinton said...

I would love to go on all night sleuthing out what states allow exact address to be known; however, I do have a life and a job to wake up to tomorrow. I can say one more thing though - it is the concentration that disturbs me and not so much knowing the exact addresses. HOWEVER, if the public does not have the information available, how can we then be watch dogs to ensure our officials are in compliance with the law. Just by scratching the surface, private individuals have uncovered information that points to that current law is being violated in NoMi regarding this issue. I do understand some of the reasoning behind not providing addresses, but reality has proven in Minnesota that the system is not working without public watch dogs on this issue.

The Walking Drum said...

You people from the suburbs, Gary and Mr. Anonymous don't have a clue. You have some convoluted idea that your piece of dirt is worth more than our piece of dirt. This isn't California! There is no mountain range to gawk at. There is no ocean to gaze at. The only thing that established the suburbs as being higher value than the inner city or the surrounding area was white prejudice. Check your history books. The Jewish people congregated in North Minneapolis in the first half of the century because they were not a loud to buy in Edina or other suburbs. Later that changed but it started a mindset. A mindset that you are still ignorantly propagating.

Do you even know your neighbors? Do you even have a front porch? Do you even leave your house unless it's coming out of your garage in your SUV? Did you know that you can get drugs all over the suburbs? Did you know there are horrible people that live in the suburbs too? You just don't know how to deal with these kind of issues because you are used to others doing your dirty work for you. You rely on others to package up your problems and send them to places like North Minneapolis. As I recall in the current recession your property values dropped more than ours. What was it 100, no 200, no sometimes three hundred thousand especially on foreclosures? Some of your suburbs have turned in to ghost towns because people in the suburbs were stupid enough to buy a house that takes two people that make over 60k a year a piece in order to barely make it.

Some of us have stayed in this neighborhood even though the bottom dropped out of the market. We don't walk away from our problems. We don't leave them for others to deal with. We face them.

Now let's talk about the real issue. L3SO Concentration. You guys made the same arguments about our drug dealers. You complained because we were pushing them in your back yard. Well grow some guts and learn how to get rid of them like we did!

Secondly, we are not asking for some special liberally pork barreled funding to get rid of these guys. We are just asking that parole officers enforce the law!

M. Clinton said...

Okay this is addicting. Just couldn't help myself - one more. Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry:

Once you have received a list of offenders matching your search, you have the option of clicking on a particular offender's name. When doing so, you'll bring up a screen with detailed information on that individual that includes address, physical description, conviction offense, any known aliases and date of registry.

Johnny Northside said...

M. Clinton,

Amazing work. Thank you. I think we need to be contacting our state reps on this matter and asking for changes in the law.

1.) List the specific address.

2.) Define concentration, and define it in such a way that one neighborhood doesn't get everything dumped inside it.

The Walking Drum said...

Go Clinton Go!

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Walking Drum says "Go Clinton go!"

Might be the first time I've ever heard you utter THOSE words.

M. Clinton said...

Johnny,

I agree. And if what is being uncovered in NoMi is true, there is no better case to be made than the fact that reality is currently demonstrating, without this information, current law regarding prohibiting concentration is being violated in Minnesota. In other words, it is not working. Or it MAY be working for the offenders and more "privileged" communities, but not where our most vulnerable populations reside. That is simply not acceptable.

Gary said...

John,

Apparently my earlier post was intemperate. I apologize for questioning your legal skills. I'll try again.

There is nothing in the statute about L3SO's that provides a remedy. That is, neither you, your neighborhood, nor any other party can bring a lawsuit in court to seek to correct the problem. You can't get damages, you can't get an injunction, nothing. The statute is just a feel good statute.

Margaret said...

It seems to be that there are two ways you could pursue this. One is to bring a lawsuit or demand an administrative hearing on the issue of non enforcement of this statute. The other is to get the legislature to pass a bill that gives the statute teeth if the non concentration thing is not followed or specifies what concentration is. I would contact Joe Mullery. He represents the Northside and he's chair of the Public Safety committee which means he can bring up a bill in his committee pretty much anytime.

For all the people saying that it's wrong to try to push sex offenders out of places, they paid their time etc. recall that felons (just your run of the mill felon) aren't supposed to associate with other felons. It's a condition of their parole. If these guys have just been released, letting them live in a regular rental house (not a day to day supervised halfway house) with other sex offenders violates this basic term of corrections enforcement.

Anonymous said...

From the Wyoming Sex Offender Registry:

Q: What information about sex offenders can be obtained from the Internet?
A: Information available on the internet site includes; the offender's name and any aliases; the physical address where they live; their date and place of birth; their date and place of conviction; the crime for which convicted; their most recent photograph; a physical description including their race, sex, height, weight, eye and hair color; their history of criminal convictions; and the license plate number and description of any vehicles owned or operated by the registrant.

Anonymous said...

Colorado Bureau of Investigations:

(This is M Clinton BTW - just forgot my Google Password again - and there is no lost password function on the blog)

Information Released

The information released shall include the following

Name of registrant
The registrant’s date of birth
Address or addresses of registrant
Aliases of the registrant
A history of the convictions that resulted in the registrant being required to register

Anonymous said...

From Idaho statutes, Title 18:

(a) Any person may inquire about a named individual by submitting an information request form obtained from the department or sheriff. The department shall promulgate rules outlining the methods and means of submitting requests. Information required for inquiry shall include the individual’s full name and address, or full name and date of birth. The requester shall provide his full name, street address and driver’s license or social security number.

Anonymous said...

Yup, and Nebraska State Patrol website has a search box - just put a common name. I used Johnson. Pulls up a whole list with pics and exact addresses.

- M Clinton

MeganG. said...

Ok, to sum up M Clinton's research so far 15 states release exact address info for registered sex offenders:

Texas
Florida
Indiana
NoDak
Arizona
Mass
Maine
Mich
Illi
Iowa
Okla
Wyom
Colo
Idaho
Nebraska

Anonymous said...

MT and CA both list exact address.
T Jaramillo

M. Clinton said...

And Rhode Island gives exact addresses and photos online. I'll keep plugging along. I only do this as I have bits of time between things. Others can join in. It's fun!

M. Clinton said...

And Oregon too. I don't even know if I need to go through every single freakin state (although I will if necesssary), but I can tell you that the general consensus is that just about every other state provides exact addresses, but prior to provision of the information, you must agree to terms and conditions that indicate that if the information is used for harrassment and intimidation or crimes against the sex offender, that you could face prosecution. There is nothing abnormal about the provision of exact addresses - it is done just about everywhere else in the country. The position Minnesota takes in regards to not providing exact addreses is actually the abnormality. I can understand the reasoning, however, Minnesota by example has now demonstrated that such an approach reduces the community's ability to watch dog for violations of illegal concentrations, particularly in vulnerable communities. Something needs to change. Is the Strib or City Pages getting this info?

Anonymous said...

Hi Johnny--

So that M. Clinton can go back to his/her life...

South Dakota's sex offender's registry provides name, height, weight, eye color, DOB, full address, crime and description, county of conviction, and date of conviction, along with a full color photo of the perp. Registration is for life, but there was a change in the law just passed yesterday that would permit some lower level offenders to have the name removed after 25 years, and some juvi offenders after 10.

Here's my link to my city's police department....it links to the SD DOC and all the info on SD sex offender registry information: http://www.cityofyankton.org/public
safety/police/sexoffender/index.php

Cheers from Yankton, SD

Kristen Skrenes

M. Clinton said...

And Louisiana - I think it is going to be more difficult to find states that DO NOT provide exact addresses. There is nothing unusual about it at all - Nationally, it is the norm.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Huh. All these states that DO list addresses of L3SO's is making me reconsider some of my statements made early on. I still would have had a different approach than John, where I would have done this research, found that listing the full address is the norm, looked at the concentration of L3SO's in the NoMi zip codes, and THEN perhaps started to call for exact addresses.

But that's where John and I are different. I'll put my toe in the pool to test the waters, and he jumps in yelling "cannonball!" and if someone gets splashed a bit, oh well.

I still think L3SO's pose less of a risk than the hype suggests, but their concentration in our neighborhood IS a problem and IS against the law. So while my stance is still more tempered than John's, I'll say this much: Go get 'em Johnny!

Johnny Northside! said...

To Gary, who commented some posts above about how the L3SO concentration statute is just a "feel good" statute, with no remedy.

Ah, a coherent and thoughtful legal argument instead of just bashing my neighborhood. What a pleasure to respond, as follows:

Gary, there actually is something we could get by going to court, and it would serve our purposes just fine. We could get "concentration" defined. And, with the statute being left so vague--deliberately so, it would appear--it certainly falls upon the courts to perform the work of defining what was left undefined by the state legislature.

MeganG. said...

OK update is 21 states and counting we are almost at half the states:

Texas
Florida
Indiana
NoDak
Arizona
Mass
Maine
Mich
Illi
Iowa
Okla
Wyom
Colo
Idaho
Nebraska
Montana
California
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Oregona
Louisiana

la_vie_en_rose said...

Yeah, I'm the one who chimed in about Indiana. I used to live in Ohio and Michigan, too, so I've been trying to see what I can find out about them.

Ohio has two websites for searching sex offenders, although one is just a generic "offender search" that lumps sex offenders together with the rest of the criminals. That website is hard to navigate, and from what I can tell, what information you get about any offender changes by county. Using Hamilton county as an example (as I used to live there), you get DOB and a zip code, but there's no address of any kind. The other offender search is for sex offenders only, and it's attached to the Ohio Attorney General's website (which took ages to load when I lived there and still does). If you don't mind the loading time (or give up, thinking the site is dead), then you'll get exact addresses. Searched using an old address and was sort of shocked to see a chimo living next door to my kids' former elementary school, but that's Ohio for you.

Michigan's offender site offers exact addresses, too. No problems there, just need to enter a city or zip code.

So there's two more for the list. Minnesota's looking ridiculous by comparison.

Anonymous said...

oops!! I must have overlooked it.
(blush)
PB

Anonymous said...

Add Iowa to the list of states that offer full disclosure.

Petit Bourgeois

Anonymous said...

Alaska and Pennsylvania also offer full disclosure. I see RI has already been listed, but it's worth mentioning they also list L2SOs.
Petit Bourgeois

Anonymous said...

Here ya go, by state, all in one place.
http://www.sexoffender.com/state.html

MeganG. said...

No, we are only at 22, Michigan and Indiana were already counted before Rose mentioned them, so I believe she only added Ohio to the list. 22 and counting...
Texas
Florida
Indiana
NoDak
Arizona
Mass
Maine
Mich
Illi
Iowa
Okla
Wyom
Colo
Idaho
Nebraska
Montana
California
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Oregona
Louisiana
Ohio

MeganG. said...

Hawaii gives exact address.

MeganG. said...

Alaska

MeganG. said...

New Mexico

MeganG. said...

Kansas

The Walking Drum said...

I know someone who contacted linda higgins wanting to ask some hard questions. Anyone else willing to?

MeganG. said...

Missouri

MeganG. said...

Georgia

MeganG. said...

Virginia

Tom Cleland said...

Johnny your issue is important but this week the urgent question is whether we will have another three years of brutality under Dolan. Seeing is believing: Brutality Videos. Congratulations, you did a great job of throwing me off-message.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Here is Ohio's site: http://www.esorn.ag.state.oh.us/Secured/p1.aspx

Indiana's: http://www.insor.org/insasoweb/

Michigan's: http://www.mipsor.state.mi.us/

Johnny Northside said...

This is the kind of thing we need to tell our state legislators. The best way to present this info would be, I think, a document with live links to all the various state websites.

In response to Jeff: Um, that is actually the way I jump into a pool, kind of. Only I prefer to go to the top of the highest board and dive in head first. It's a lot more of a rush.

MeganG. said...

We are up to 30 now - so that puts MN well into the minority.

Texas
Florida
Indiana
NoDa
Arizona
Mass
Maine
Mich
Illi
Iowa
Okla
Wyom
Colo
Idaho
Nebraska
Montana
California
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Oregona
Louisiana
Ohio
Hawaii
Alaska
New Mexico
Kansas
Missouri
Georgia
Virginia
Pennsylvania

Johnny Northside said...

Great work by Megan.

Johnny Northside said...

I'd like to note this post is one of the most active EVER for comments. I hope the contributor known as The Walking Drum will post more material in the near future.

And, in fact, I've asked other contributors to come on board. Let's see if they can top The Walking Drum or, as he goes by, TWD.

Anonymous said...

John,

You wouldn't have standing to get that far. Whoever it is you'd think you would sue would file a motion for a dismissal on the pleadings because you don't have standing (nor do a bunch of you nor would the city).

If you want something done, you'll have to get the legislature to change the law. And since NoMi has way fewer legislators than the rest of the state, and since there are a whole bunch of sex offenders in NoMi and less, proportionally, in the rest of the state, I don't think you'll be successful.

Good luck though.

KingPongPanda said...

We should considering lawsuit against the state. According to the study, sex offenders have negative impact on housing prices. So for every sex offender moving into my neighborhood, I lose value in my house. Collectively, as neighborhood, we are losing millions of dollars. Sounds like a class action to me.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WMG-4T0MMDK-1&_user=10&_coverDate=11/30/2008&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1246539249&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=e58a95c86d34127254d01998c57e8652

Anonymous said...

I still say we can have the most impact by convincing the landlords that it is in their best interests NOT to rent to these dudes.

carey joe howell said...

to Tom Cleland

How can you post on someone's blog and tell all the people there what their urgent issue should be? It may or may not be to any of these folks or maybe some folks can concerns themselves with more than one issue at time. I would think humans can multi task in that way. It's bad enough folks post that kind of opinion on the Minneapolis issues list (what issues other people should be concerned about) but to come on someone's private blog and tell everyone that there is one urgent question they should care about is so arrogant.....I would never think to tell you what your concerns should be!

Anonymous said...

John the news is FULL of stories about sex offenders re-offending or committing even worse crimes. Your efforts are truly going to make a difference for NoMi. Thank you and all of the NoMi neighbors who want to make a difference!

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

@ Anon 8:52, John may not have standing to file suit, but certainly someone on a block or in a building with an L3SO concentration would. If they haven't been harmed by this, then really, who has?

@ Carey Joe, Yeah, we get that from time to time; people with their OWN blogs coming to JNS to say John/we should write about the REAL ISSUE. Often, the people making such a demand aren't even writing about that THEMSELVES. My theory: whether you like JNS or not, there is no doubt the blog is widely read. So we'll get posts like that from time to time. Its our own version of having someone stand in the background waving Chief Dolan signs.

Anonymous said...

Hawkman: If none of the L3SOs have committed a crime since their release, then really, HAS anyone been harmed? I know a sex offender - and he got crucified when he was 18 and his gf was the 17 year old daughter of a lesbian cop (who just happened to think all men are predatory). Took him up on charges, and for the rest of his life he will be on the sex offender registry.

My point is: at what point do you actually say "you have served your time, and are forgiven" - or are we to create closed communities for every crime out there? Perhaps like white-collar prisons?

And, on the other point you mentioned: a lot of people read this blog because it contains a bit of truth and a truckload of bulls**t. The weak-minded feed off the drama spewed forth by this like so many melodramatic talk shows.

People are attracted to discover who will become the next target of his vigilante hatred and sensationalistic witch hunt.

Want to be taken seriously? Write seriously. Want to be viewed like the National Inquirer and Perez Hilton? Mimic JNS.

M. Clinton said...

Certainly John's writing style can include humor, sarcasm, and at times cheap shots. Love it or hate it, but it is also one of the things that makes this blog entertaining to read. However, I do not feel at all that there is any comparison between this blog and the tabloids. Why? For one, it discusses substantive issues. But also, John and Jeff don't just react to or comment on the issues widely known in the community, but also do their own investigatory work to find out what is going on out in the community that should be known and is not. I'm sure there are plenty of examples, but for one, nobody seemed to know or discuss the L3SO concentration issue until the JNS blog began to search into it. Same with Pamiko gate. Mainstream MPLS media has long moved on from the Ashannalike Hamilton murder, but John is keeping this story alive and at the front of our consciousness until justice is done. And you know what? John does not have a budget or large paid staff. He is doing relevant and substantive reporting beyond what even local professional media have been able to provide and does so merely as a concerned citizen.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

@ Anon 6:42, to your points in reverse order:

If you read this blog regularly or go back and look at posts, you'll see where John and I differ on many issues of style and substance. Yeah, he goes for more splashy or sensational things than I do (although our roles do reverse from time to time). And I know plenty of folks who don't take this blog seriously. On the other hand, I've seen how effective it has been and that's good enough for me.

John and I also differ in regards to the severity of the L3SO issue. But has someone been harmed by a concentration of L3SO's on their block even if none of those have re-offended? Even as someone who believes more strongly than John that once L3SO's have served their time they ought to be able to re-enter society on at least some level, I'd say the answer is a huge YES.

If concentration were good or at least non-harmful, then why the statute? If a concentration of sex offenders on my block drives down property values or makes it harder for me to buy, sell, or otherwise finance my home, then there's financial harm. If the M.O. of a sex offender fits the profile of persons within my household and now I have to worry about that every single day, there's emotional harm.

I may not agree with these definitions, but I'd say that like it or not, the threshold for "harm" in cases like this seems pretty low.

The Walking Drum said...

Last time I checked two people who enter into a legally binding relationship ie marriage, before they get intimate, don't get convicted of sex crimes with each other.

Its sad what happened to your friend but he still broke the law.

Gary said...

John and Hawkperson,

I wouldn't invest too much money in your plan to sue the DOC and wouldn't hope too much that some judge will define a term in a statute that the legislature didn't bother to define.

In order to get relief from the statute you cite there has to be some statutory provision allowing for the law suit. The government has to give its citizens permission to sue it. And the State hasn't given anyone permission to sue the DOC about sex offender concentrations.

You would simply be wasting your time if you tried to sue the DOC to require the state to comply with some sort of undefined zoning ordinance.

Johnny Northside said...

Frankly, I just don't believe the story about your "friend" who was convicted in the way you say. Kindly post some kind of link or some kind of proof, because I find the story completely sketchy.

Here's a story for you. One day a young woman who was shopping at the mall where she worked just disappeared off the face of the earth. Authorities and neighbors went crazy looking for her. All the sex offenders who lived nearby were questioned, but they all had an alibi.

But, upon closer examination, the alibi of one of the sex offenders didn't hold up. He said he was at a movie theater watching a particular movie. It turned out no local theater was playing that movie. The young woman's body wasn't found until spring, but it was eventually found. The sex offender was convicted of killing her.

And everybody asked themselves, "What was this sicko even doing out in society?"

Unlike your story, mine can be documented and verified. It happened to a young woman named Dru Sjodin at the University of North Dakota, where I went to law school.
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And, by the way, just to answer some idiot on the Minneapolis Issues List: actually, I've never taken the bar exam, let alone failed it twice. I do not expect to fail it when I take it, because I graduated from law school "with distinction" and got very good grades.

There is, however, apparently another John Hoff, which is the source of the misinformation and I would say it is almost understandable.
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But that's neither here nor there. In short, I doubt the story.

Now, directing this at Gary: Yeah, I prefer to hear it from the lawyer rather than some commenter on a blog. I think it should be some home owner suing over devaluation of their property. And I'd sure think that slumlords might make good co-defendants.

Gary said...

John,

I'd like to know more about your legal theories about this lawsuit, since you graduated "with distinction" from law school.

Don't you need a 5th amendment taking to recover damages from the govt?

Can a homeowner successfully sue the govt for a loss of property value from any govt action?

What do you imagine the remedy would be?

What definition should the judge assign to "concentration" and why?

Thanks for your time. You do good work on this blog.

Johnny Northside said...

I'd sidestep that whole issue by going with a simple tort case: duty, breach, causation, damages.

I'd argue the state had a DUTY not to drastically lower property values by concentrating Level Three sex offenders in North Minneapolis. The semi-toothless statute becomes, in effect, "smoking gun" evidence the state knew it had a duty and acknowledged that duty, but failed to follow that duty and damaged property owners. Therefore, a TORT.

Maybe some "pain and suffering" damages, too, like the grandmother taking care of those little children, SURROUNDED by sex offenders. She's got some pretty serious pain and suffering damages, I would tend to think.

Yawn. Could you please throw a tougher law question my way?

Gary said...

I'm not a law school graduate so I'm not as smart as you about law, but how would you get around the concept of sovereign immunity? Doesn't the state have to consent to allow itself to be sued under MN law? Specifically where did MN allow it self to be sued for negligent placement of sex offenders? Or would you sue some bureaucrats personally?

Sorry to bore someone of your expertise with my third rate law questions.

www.lpa.state.mn.us/pdf/infopackets/Sovereign%20Immunity.pdf

Gary said...

Your silence is deafening John. Have I convinced you?