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California’s sex offender list is so harsh it’s useless, lawmakers say as debate ramps up

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The California Sex Offender Management Board, which oversees the state’s sex offender registry, is recommending that lawmakers in Sacramento overhaul registration laws so that some offenders can be removed from the list after 10 or 20 years.

The list — which currently includes almost 100,000 registered offenders — is too large to be useful to law enforcement or the general public. Under current laws, all sex offenders must register for life regardless of the offense they committed. California is one of only four states that require lifetime registration for sex offenders.

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According to the California Sex Offender Management Board, it includes many offenders “who do not necessarily pose a risk to the community,” including almost 900 who have not committed a sex-crime in more than half a century. Moreover, the assumptions on which the list were created have turned out to be incorrect, the Board argued in its report.

Ninety-five percent of sex-crimes are committed by individuals who are not on the registry, and the existence of the registry has not worked as a deterrent, as the number of sex-crimes committed in the state has not significantly decreased.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, chairwoman of the state Sex Offender Management Board, told SFGate that “what we are proposing won’t jeopardize public safety or unleash sex offenders who are dangerous in the community. If done correctly and if done in a way that isn’t so broad that no one is held accountable, then the public doesn’t have to fear about their safety or their children’s safety.”

The board wants to institute a system similar to those already in place in the other 46 states, in which the nature of the offense, the risk of re-offending, and the amount of time already spent on the registry determine how long a particular offender remains on it.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said that “there is no need to continue to monitor some low-level offenders and waste those resources. We have to prioritize.”

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Lawmakers, not surprisingly, are wary of seeming soft on sex offenders. “I think all sex offenders are dangerous, period,” state Sen. Jim Nielsen (pictured above) told SFGate. “I’m willing to work in a responsible way on legislation that builds in the highest level of protections for the public. This proposal concerns me enormously. I think the risks are too great to try to intellectualize this stuff.”

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), who supports the Board’s proposed changes, acknowledged the difficulties ahead. “It’s a radioactive issue to a lot of people,” he said. “But, this can’t be ignored.”

[Screen capture of state Senator Jim Nielsen via YouTube]

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Trump is ‘a soulless man with a broken mind’: George Conway calls out his wife’s boss in scathing op-ed

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George Conway, the prominent Republican attorney married to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, blasted his wife's boss in a new Washington Post op-ed published online on Friday evening.

"Until three brief months ago, President Trump never faced a serious crisis, at least one not of his own making. But now he has faced two, and is failing two, in short order: the covid-19 pandemic, with its concomitant economic devastation; and now social unrest, and rioting, stemming from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody," Conway wrote. "Lacking in humanity, Trump has had no idea how to handle either one."

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Fox News triggers outrage with graphic comparing how much stocks have risen after racist tragedies

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On Friday, Fox News displayed a graph that appeared to compare the amount the stock market has risen in the week after various racial tragedies, including the assassination of Martin Luther King, the beating of Rodney King, the Ferguson incident, and the death of George Floyd.

2. Here’s the video of the graphic as it aired on Fox News this evening. pic.twitter.com/Iww2DnzkkI

— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) June 5, 2020

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Bill Barr denies giving the order to gas protesters for Trump photo-op

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America's top law enforcement office on Friday denied giving the highly-controversial order to gas protesters prior to a photo-op with President Donald Trump holding a Bible.

"Attorney General William Barr says law enforcement officers were already moving to push back protesters from a park in front of the White House when he arrived there Monday evening, and he says he did not give a command to disperse the crowd, though he supported the decision," The Associated Press reports.

"Barr’s comments in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday were his most detailed explanation yet of what unfolded outside the White House earlier this week. They come after the White House and others said repeatedly that the attorney general ordered officers to clear the park," the AP reported. "Shortly after officers aggressively pushed back demonstrators, President Donald Trump — accompanied by Barr, Pentagon leaders and other top advisers — walked through Lafayette Park to pose for a photo at a nearby church that had been damaged during the protests."

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