October 2011

Sunshine Laws Burn Casey Anthony Jurors

by Diane Dimond on October 31, 2011

Can There Be Too Much Sunshine?

Every state has laws that govern the public’s access to government records. From New Mexico to North Dakota – Alabama to Alaska – each have varying degrees of these so-called Sunshine Laws. The media loves Sunshine Laws because they allow easy access to information. But many on the other end of the equation don’t feel so “sunshine-y” about having their business or personal information revealed to the public. There is no state more liberal in doling out government information than Florida — nicknamed the Sunshine State — and in my opinion their Public Records Law has now put some of their own citizens at risk. [click to continue…]

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The Halloween Sex Offender Myth

by Diane Dimond on October 24, 2011

Halloween Fun! But Not For All

The spookiest time of the year is fast approaching and you have likely already heard about local law enforcement officers preparing to keep your area free of danger on Halloween night.

They may be visiting schools to counsel kids on safe practices, they may be warning drivers about watching out for children on Halloween night and in communities across America officers are fanning out to knock on the doors of registered sex offenders.

The idea behind visiting local S.O.’s (as they are referred to) is twofold.

First, it’s a transparent effort to check that the address police have on record for the ex-offender is still good. Second, it is a somber face-to-face warning to the S.O. that they are not allowed to interact with children on Halloween. [click to continue…]

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Be Furious Over Fast and Furious

by Diane Dimond on October 17, 2011

Who Dreamed Up The Fast & Furious Plan?

What the hell is going on in this country? And why don’t our federal officials just man-up and admit when mistakes have been made?

Now, keep in mind – I don’t write about politics so this is not a partisan attack. I write about crime and justice. So, take what I’m about to say in that spirit.

And remember the name “Fast and Furious” because I predict you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the days ahead.

Here’s the backstory: Someone at the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives …  [click to continue…]

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Paying The Price Twice

by Diane Dimond on October 10, 2011

Those With Criminal Records Are Worst Off

With the U.S. unemployment over nine percent these days nearly everyone knows someone who is out of work or under-employed. It’s a tragic and desperate time for millions of Americans.

But there is one sector of the population hit harder than any other – those Americans who carry the stigma of a past criminal conviction. An almost unbelievable 65 million people – one in every four U.S. adults – falls into this category. And, in this War-on-Terror era employers are conducting background checks on new hires like never before. No matter how exemplary a life a person has led since their conviction, their past record will pop up.

Look, no one could fault an employer for thinking twice about hiring someone who has been convicted of murder or child molestation. But, according to the author of a [click to continue…]

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My Hero – 2011

by Diane Dimond on October 3, 2011

Jaycee Dugard - Survivor, Mother, Activist

My annual Hero of the Year award usually comes up in December but this year I can’t wait. I’ve already picked the person who I think has most changed the world of crime and justice during 2011.

My hero is Jaycee Dugard. She was held as a sex slave, finally rescued and now instead of being withdrawn or bitter, she has embraced us all with details of her harrowing story and formed a charitable organization to help other families recovering from abduction.

Jaycee’s ordeal began when she was 11 years old. Now she’s 30 and finally free of a pair of kidnappers – a convicted sex offender named Phillip Garrido and his accomplice-wife, Nancy. They used a stun gun to pluck little Jaycee off a country road in South Tahoe, California in June 1991 as she waited for a school bus one morning. She remembers clawing at the ground to try to escape, clutching a pine cone as her last touch with freedom. [click to continue…]

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