I read with great interest about the new federal law that will help fund DNA collection. It's a bipartisan bill, signed by President Obama, and Governor Walker is happy about it, as is our Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. The fact that it's a bipartisan bill, I think it's hopeful that this will help with our current criminal justice system in the State of Wisconsin.
Currently, only felons and sex offenders convicted are tested for DNA. Now, upon arrest, depending on what they are being brought in for, will determine if they get DNA tested or not. Those accused of felonies, sex crimes and conviction of other certain misdemeanors will have to have a test. As an advocate for those who are sexually abused in any way, shape or form, I fully agree that this is a good idea. Sometimes, trauma is so bad, that you may not remember all of the details. Or, the perpetrators are so dangerous, you are afraid to report or testify. All perpetrators will say that it either didn't happen, or that it was consensual. The test will confirm that it did happen.
Yet, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wants to state something of the sort that it's still an expensive process, and that we won't get half the money we need to fund the cause. Well, lets look at it this way. Currently, we may have to take MORE out of the schools, gang prevention, prisons, and more to cover the cost. If we start doing DNA testing right off the bat, those who really are innocent would be let out ASAP, thus saving tax money that otherwise would have gone to detain this person. If this person matches the DNA in the crime, then the trial can begin right away, thus saving even MORE tax money that won't clog up the courts, and off to the speedy trial we are supposed to have. The efficiency it leaves behind will ensure that more funds are available in a relatively short amount of time, and then will go forth to save even more money, so, the small amount of help will actually be huge, and the amount we spend now will reduce even further.
Think about how much time the police and other investigators will save because now they don't need to chase nearly as many fleeting leads or other vague evidence? The DNA will be there clearly. It's a good thing. Right?
Well, the civil rights advocates want to talk about how this is an invasion of privacy, and how not enough money could help pay for this. Invasion of privacy? Really? There is already probable cause to be arrested in the first place. So, if you were to be arrested for a heinous crime, and you knew that you were innocent, and then DNA could absolve you, wouldn't you give the DNA sample? What if you or your loved ones were violated beyond what could be imagined, and there are two possible suspects? Wouldn't you want them to be tested so the right one gets it? Oh, but no. Arrested suspects of probable cause might get their feelers hurt, because DNA testing might invade part of their privacy.
I guess this is why it's the criminal justice system, not the victim defense system. It's too bad, because seriously? We need to bring the non-violent criminals out and put the violent ones in. I just hope that common sense can catch up with everything.
Okay, this is a bit odd, weird, and a mixed message to me. We are all aware of the Casey Anthony case, where she was found "Not Guilty" over the death of her daughter, Caylee.
There is a petition out there to sign "Caylee's Law", which, in a nutshell is to make it a felony for a parent NOT to report a child missing within 24 hours, and a child dead - accidental or otherwise - within an hour of finding out.
I signed it, because as a child advocate, I do this sort of thing, but, as a parent, I have to question WHY we need a law like this, when to NOT report is already gross neglect on the parent's part of the bargain. But, in the case of certain mothers, like Casey, obviously it's needed because some mothers just plain have no sense about protecting their own children, whether it's lack of it, or just don't care...
Anyway, after signing the petition, to which Senator Van Wanggaard got this letter on my behalf -
To: Sen.Wanggaard Subject: Create Caylee's Law, Not Reporting Child's Disappearance Should Be a Felony
Sen. Van Wanggaard
State Capitol, Room 319 South
2 East Main Street
On July 5, 2011, at 1:15 pm CST, Casey Anthony was found not guilty of first degree murder in the death of her daughter Caylee Anthony. The only charges she now faces are four counts of falsifying police reports, each of which only carries a 1 year prison term. Since she has been in jail since August 2008, she will be out of jail ENTIRELY too soon.
I'm writing to propose that a new law be put into effect making it a felony for a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker to not notify law enforcement of the disappearance of a child within 24 hours, so proper steps can be taken to find that child before it's too late.
This way there will be no more cases like Casey Anthony's in the courts, and no more innocent children will have to go without justice.
The case of Caylee Anthony was tragic, and there is no reason for another case like this one to hit the courts. Let's do what is necessary to prevent another case like this from happening.
To respond, email email@example.com and include a link to this petition.
Here is the response.
Thank you for sharing your opinion that Wisconsin should enact Caylee’s Law, stiffening penalties for failure to report a missing child or the death of a child. I value your opinion, and I appreciate that you took the time to share your opinion with me.
Several of my colleagues have expressed interest in drafting a version of Caylee’s Law, and Representative Samantha Kerkman (R-Powers Lake) is leading the way in the Assembly. Any child abuse case is a tragedy, and we must protect our children.
It is important to note that Wisconsin law already provides safeguards against incidents similar to the Casey Anthony case. Wisconsin Statute 948.21 states that, “Any person who is responsible for a child's welfare who, through his or her actions or failure to take action, intentionally contributes to the neglect of the child is guilty of…a Class D felony if death is a consequence.” There are additional state statutes that address hiding a corpse (Class F felony) and providing false information in the case of kidnapped or missing persons (Class H felony).
Again, thank you for contacting me on this issue. Should any legislation come before me in the Senate, I will keep your concerns in mind. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns on this, or any other, issue.
Wisconsin State Senator
21st Senate District—Serving Racine County
Okay, so. Very good. He supports this, and knows the state laws that are already in existence concerning this issue, and is interested in our children's safe keeping.
So he says, "Any child abuse case is a tragedy, and we must protect our children". Yet this very same person told me ON THE PHONE while talking to him about April's Law that he "disagrees with Cory Mason's draft" because it didn't include a high school sweethearts clause...
Well, HELLO! When do high school sweethearts kidnap each other for the purposes of rape, sexually molest and possibly kill? Since when do high school sweethearts now construe a situation of an adult preying on a child, when most often there are, on average only 3 years between the two people at hand?
I am a little bit disgusted here, is because here a national case gets such high exposure, and a stand alone signature w/o comment gets this type of support for Caylee's Law (which I expect parents to follow even without this in place), yet, as a constituent who spent 3 years working on April's Law to protect our children from sex predators on and offline, with phone calls, emails, etc, and he won't support it because of a high school sweetheart clause?
I am really having a hard time digesting this, because, parents are supposed to be responsible for our children, and this should be a given to begin with, and he supports it... Yet with all my research that I've sent him of cases, right here in Racine of adults preying on children, teachers abusing students, etc... and he won't support that. So, what, it's okay to sexually abuse our children, but, if we cross the line and kill them, that's when it's wrong?
I'm just absolutely disgusted... I apologize for the lettering, but, I couldn't expand the email exchange. Please don't mind while my gaskets are blowing.
November 2, 2010 is a very important election. While we here at Youth Voice Initiative (YVI) will not officially endorse a party or go straight with any party line, though YVI WILL endorse candidates who are very pro-children, and those who support child safety issues.
With the presidential election in place just 2 years ago, President Obama has made things happen, and is catching waves with many of his decisions. Mind you, since we have had a democrat dominated congress, which made it easier to get things passed. Often times, because previously, we had 8 years of republican rule with republican congress, people came in droves to vote democrat... Yet just in two years, people have, predictably, became frustrated with the democrats, and have been loud about it. In any case, this is a severely important election, because it can keep or disrupt the continuity of how this country will be run now and into the future.
Many everyday people are irritated with who are considered "career politicians". Pro - they are familiar with the ropes and with incumbents come seniority and power, and if urged by the people right, is a great asset for the area they represent. Con - some have, and are, too confident in their jobs, and have their own ideas, and may not be conducive to whom ever are the "little people" in their communities, and gives back to those who give the most to campaigns and what have you. While new people have fresher eyes and come from US the people, where all of them SHOULD be, if they aren't familiar with the internal system, they are easier to bull doze if not in proper alignment.
Please remember, what ever party you are from, rather than voting party lines, pick what issues are most near and dear to you, and vote for the person who most represents that, not for the sake of the party. YVI strongly encourages all voters to check out which candidates are most supportive of children's issues such as safety, nutrition, education and more.
Let me first say that YVI officially endorses State Senator John Lehman (D-Racine) and Representative Cory Mason (D-Racine) in this upcoming election. Together, they have drafted April's Law Wisconsin, and will be presenting it together in the State Senate & Assembly this upcoming January. I would like to publicly thank these two gentlemen, who are leaders in promoting the safety of our youth who will be safer from sexual predators on and offline. Here they are:
Senator John Lehman
Representative Cory Mason
For anyone who would like to see the draft, contact me and you will be emailed an attachment copy of the draft. Thank you.
For being supportive to the cause, YVI supports Representative Robin Vos (R-Racine), the first to show public support for April's Law here in Racine.
And for indirectly supporting April's Law, I'd like to present Representative Bob Turner.
While all four of these candidates are important to the cause, Senator Lehman and Representative Mason are the original drafters, and YVI strongly urges full support of these two men to represent Racine to the State of Wisconsin, so that they may bring April's Law to the table to be passed. Without them, it's as if we are practically starting from ground zero.
In Nevada, YVI fully endorses Representative Bob Beers (R-LV) for being the first ever politician to outright support and endorse April's Law. For his dedicated support, for those of you in the northwest Las Vegas area, you are strongly urged to support Bob Beers into office for the protection of children from sex predators on and offline.
Back to Wisconsin politics... For governor, YVI would like to give credit to Tom Barret, who will ensure that low income children will have health coverage, and more health research will be done to help combat various illnesses. He'd like to make sure that the working people will get a fair tax break.
I'd like to keep this a positive campaign spot, so there will be no negative campaigning here. No mud slinging, false accusations or finger pointing. Only the facts and what your candidate can do for your area.
The push for April's Law isn't over yet. We are still in dire need of more signatures, and the Wisconsin version is set to deliver this upcoming March, when the passage of new laws will be taking place, so, YVI is hopeful that our guys will win the election, and to be able to sell the final version to pass, we need as much support as possible. So please continue to sign April's Law Wisconsin, and please urge as many people as possible to sign this important piece of Legislation. The federal version is not introduced to anyone yet, we still need more support from we the people to get this going properly. Here is the federal April's Law Petition. Thank you for your continued support. Also to be introduced soon to the legislators, I'd like to present Sean's Voice: The petition for our unacknowledged survivors of abuse, our men... Currently there is very little to help those who are/have been abused. We need to keep pushing the petition, so when we're ready to move forward, we have enough to start.
Here is another interesting competition. Most of you are at least a little bit aware of Federal Representative Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin. While not all of the things he has done are bad, many consider him a bit scary. His opponent is new comer John Heckenlively, running on his slogan Give Congress Heck! Which I find catchy. I like it. As a former teacher, it will be interesting how he can help our area and issues that matter to our youth.
Remember, the election is November 2, 2010. Make sure you vote! Yes, your vote counts! If you are going to be unable to get to the polls, absentee ballots are available right now. Go to your City Hall to find out how you can get those, and don't forget, GO VOTE!
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