Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Topic: Your Voice and the Internet

Telling Your Story on The Internet

Is There A Safe Way to Tell my Story? YES, a few.
CLICK to see how others have done it

Points to be aware of when telling you story:
The Internet has a Memory - Our Warnings:

OK, if you have not figured it out, the Internet does have a memory, and its even better than an elephants. But, you say, I don't use my real name. Sorry once you sign on to the Internet you can be tracked by your IP Address. If authorities want to know, they have ways to find out and maybe they will need a court order, but never forget, they can get them and you do not have to be told.

What is my point?
Simple, NEVER FORGET, that, the Internet NEVER FORGETS!

At some point you may have to answer for something you said, where you have been, and why you went there, and especially if you add some identifying fact that can be traced to you (Name, address, etc.).

There are states that totally prohibit registrants from using the Internet -in any capacity- other states may only prohibit registrants from using certain types of sites (Social Networking sites. Good luck defining them, as states leave that definition wide open. Personally I believe they do that on purpose, to scare registrants off the Internet completely, but thats just my opinion.)

Today, where registrants are concerned, the Internet is being slowly sectioned off, and registrants almost need a road-map to know where they can and cannot go. At some point in the near future a court will better define what is legally permissible, until then, do not go where you clearly do not belong, and be respectful anywhere else you do go, using only age appropriate sites.

Below are various scenarios, each one a caution.

Your Voice and Social Networking

Assuming your state or supervising agent does not prohibit your use of social networking sites, please take note of the effects of what this woman posted: "Wife posts pics with boyfriend on MySpace, loses child custody." From that story:
"At a hearing where the judge entered a temporary order granting joint custody of the couples’ infant son, the court admonished the wife/mother, characterizing her situation as “a nightmare every parent faces . . . when you have got a child that acts like a slut, quite frankly, a slut.”

Later in the case the judge granted sole custody to the husband. The wife sought review with the Arkansas appellate court. On appeal, that court affirmed the trial court’s order on custody.

The wife had argued that the trial court judge was biased, and asked for a new trial with an impartial judge. Although the appellate court was “deeply troubled” by judge’s rude remarks, it held that because the wife had not raised that argument in the trial court, and had not asked the judge to recuse himself, the court could not consider that question on appeal. "
Need any more be said, what you post affects you and can wind up in a court of law, never forget that.

Telling Your Story: On the Internet

Think twice before you tell your story, the first reason is, the Internet has a memory, it does not forget. And, once on the Internet, everyone else has access to it, that includes TROLLS who often use information in a harmful way! Trolls also love to add to something to what you said, and maybe misconstrue it, their intent is to make you mad, and they want you to respond to them.

NEVER RESPOND TO Internet TROLLS, they are gathering information to harm you or your family. Responding to them is placing you or your family at risk. While we advocate reporting what trolls do to you, to the police, FBI and the State Registry folks (Trolls may have violated the registry laws), we also know law enforcement rarely does anything about the actions of Trolls.
Secondly, if you were to tell your story, how close to the REAL FACTS would it be, would you color some parts, and omit others, or tell it differently than as it is recorded in a police file somewhere? Inconsistencies are a major problem -FOR YOU- because these can be misconstrued or used in a court proceeding to indicate that you lied. Yes, that you LIED or are a liar!

Even though your crime is in the past and you feel you will never repeat that, but that does not mean you will never be in a court again. Example, suppose you get charged for failure to register, plenty of that going around, maybe you forgot to sign a form or some other technical issue, but now you are in court and can be called to testify. If you testify differently than what is in a police file -OR- if a prosecutor gets wind of what you have posted on the Internet, s/he may use that to show you do not tell the truth, and ultimately win on the failure to register charge. You never want that to happen, so do not leave trails for others to use against you!

Thirdly, CRITICAL KNOWLEDGE, if you are convicted again -of any sex crime- in a state with civil commitment or in federal court (where civil commitment hearings follows a federal sentence), always remember, whatever the prosecutor can find to make it sound like you are a further threat to the community, s/he will use against you, any way they can. They love stories they can construe in ways you would never think of.

Civil Commitment hearings are held to prove you are a continuing threat to the community, and if proved you will be civilly committed, and that could be for the rest of your life. In todays world where former sex offenders are held to a unbelievable standard, why would you ever give the opposition anything to POSSIBLY use against you. Just don't do it, today it is not worth it.
Now, if you are thinking none of this can happen and here we are just trying to scare you, you're right! SCARED SMART! Think about it before you do it and remember what is eluded to above.

Mom, Spouse or Grandparent:
Telling Their Child or Grandchild's Story

We love Moms and Grandparents, there are none better, they love their children no matter what they do. And that is the key, love blinds a person. Further, they have a hard time believing that so and so has done what he is charged with, and if they tell a story, as they believe it happened, it could be far from the ACTUAL FACTS.

Far from the facts is OK, but if they add something which the police or prosecutor is not aware of, then they get hold of that, it could harm the criminal process or even aid in getting the person convicted.

Our suggestion is, to speak to a lawyer (they are sworn to secrecy) because they can help your loved one, or refer you to those who can help.

Telling Your Story:
Is There A Safe Way? YES, a few.

Yes, in the blog Families Affirming Community Safety (FACTS) they have gathered some stories as to how being on a Public Registry is affecting registrants. These stories are different than we talk about above. See FACTS Story Page. They also have some First-Person stories. In all cases they have allowed these in such a way so that the registrant is protected from further harm.

Reform Sex Offender Laws (RSOL) website has what they call "Tales from the Registry" stop over and see what they have received from folks.

OK RSOL has some stories on their website: Testimonials from people affected by the registry

In a New Mexico newspaper is this story by a former offender, "Advocates push back against New Mexico’s sex-crime laws" which explains all the problems with registering former offenders and the harm it does cause, not only to them and their families, but to society as a whole. This is another way a story can be told.

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate (BACK to the Top Page)

No comments: