Update on the Galen Baughman Civil Commitment trial

by Charlie Clark, September 4, 2019 5:27 PM Our Man in Arlington. A culture-clash of a trial will resume in late September in Arlington Circuit Court. The scantly reported-on civil procedure involves the disturbing topic of predatory sexual behavior and the Virginia laws intended to protect potential victims. The trial, preliminaries for which I attended Aug. 26, involves an Arlington family eager to spring a son from an open-ended incarceration they feel the state is pursuing to make a statement against a gay man. Galen Baughman, 35, a graduate of H-B Woodlawn Secondary program who studied opera at Indiana University,…

Continue reading

Punishment Without Crime

⁦.⁦@MarkHerringVA⁩ has made exceptionally strong statements on ways to improve our criminal justice system. Civil commitment, however, is an area where Va law and enforcement is an injustice and a violation of civil rights. Here’s a prime example: https://t.co/7kVW1wDSIg — Patrick Hope (@HopeforVirginia) August 24, 2019   IN ARLINGTON, A JURY MUST DECIDE IF A NONVIOLENT SEX OFFENDER SHOULD STAY INCARCERATED AFTER SERVING HIS SENTENCE By Philip Fornaci and Roger Lancaster August 23 at 11:32 AM Philip Fornaci is a civil rights lawyer based in Washington. Roger Lancaster is the author of “Sex Panic and the Punitive State.“ On Monday,…

Continue reading

Punished Enough?

Downstate confronts questions that date to the time of Plato and the Old Testament: How ought we punish acts that are repugnant to society? Are there lawbreakers who are truly unforgivable? Are there offenses that demand perpetual condemnation, shunning, expulsion—banishment?   We once thought that we knew the answer to such riddles, at least in principle. For much of the twentieth century, jurists and lawmakers progressively tethered law to enlightened ideals: they eschewed punishment for the sake of punishment, embraced the idea of contingent redemption—rehabilitation—and imposed limits to punishment. But after the turmoil of the 1960s, American legal history diverged…

Continue reading

California Hearsay Challenge

I. Introduction Currently, there is some slow progress being made in the quest to reform the use of hearsay in California criminal and Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVP or SVPA) proceedings.   Part of this progress began in 2016, when the California Supreme Court heard a case, People v. Sanchez (2016) 63 Cal.4th  665, that changed the way California applied Crawford v. Washington (2004) 541 U.S. 36 to state court proceedings.  Following the reasoning of the high Court in Williams v. Illinois (2012) 567 U.S. 50, the California Supreme Court did away with the (fraudulent) reasoning that expert testimony was “not…

Continue reading

Percy Foundation Survey Report on Imprisoned and Committed Sex Offenders

Note from JustFuture: The original title of the paper was “The psycho/social/spiritual impact of being held in a ‘treatment center’ for sex offenders: reflections on the outcome of a brief questionnaire administered to a group of civilly committed men.” We would love to receive a full copy of the essay.  Please contact us if you know how to find it. The below quote came from “The Legal Pad” Volume 2, Issue 11, (November 15, 2018) published by Cyrus P. Gladden, II from the gulag in Mooselake, Minnesota. Gladden used the above title to describe the paper and attributed the paper…

Continue reading

Lawsuit, Ballot Initiative Seek to Reform Felon Disenfranchisement in Florida | Prison Legal News

In 1868, in response to the abolition of slavery following the Civil War (except for prisoners), Florida enshrined in its constitution the permanent disenfranchisement of people convicted of a felony.  The deprivation of felons’ voting rights was combined with Black Codes that criminalized offenses state lawmakers believed were mostly committed by blacks, as a means of sending freed slaves to prison and ensuring they could not vote. While the civil rights movement helped to change racial attitudes, Florida has held strong to its disenfranchisement policy.  It is one of only four states, the others being Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia, to…

Continue reading

When Junk Science About People Labeled “Sex Offenders” Infects the Supreme Court | NYT Op-Doc

American criminal justice policy for sex-related crimes is built on a myth.  The U.S. Supreme Court green lighted draconian restrictions that relegate persons with former sex-related convictions to a permanent pariah status based on the erroneous findings that they commit new crimes at an astronomical rate.  Watch filmmaker, lawyer, activist David Feige unravel this “frightening and high” myth in a compelling NYT OP-doc.  “A ‘Frightening’ Myth About Sex Offenders” by David Feige. This month the Supreme Court will have a rare opportunity to correct a flawed doctrine that for the past two decades has relied on junk social science to justify…

Continue reading

Speak Up Minnesota

The spark is catching. Read this powerful organizing appeal from a person living behind the walls in Minnesota and learn what Just future is doing to help. At Just Future Project we believe that the people closest to the problem are closest to the solution, but furthest from power and opportunity. We are trying to balance the scales by connecting advocates living on the registry or working from the inside with tools to create change.  Our hats off to Cyrus Gladden for writing this compelling call to action. The appeal below is written to other people living behind the walls…

Continue reading