Thursday, December 18, 2008

OSL web site closed

The main One Strike Law, Washington State, web site has now closed.

After several years of signature collection on State initiatives (scroll down to #921; PDF of language), there has not been enough public interest or support to get this issue on the ballot.

Since the law cannot protect your children, teach them to fight back to the best of their ability.

Only a vigorous personal self-defense can hope to protect your children from dying at the hands of violent sex offenders.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Breaking News! PLEA DEAL: Duncan plea accepted by prosecutors

01:13 PM PDT on Monday, October 16, 2006

COEUR D'ALENE -- Kootenai County prosecutors have accepted the plea deal offered by Joseph Duncan's attorneys. The new plea deal will have Duncan plead guilty to 3 counts of first degree murder, 3 counts of first degree kidnapping, waive his right to extradition and future court appeals. Duncan will also give up all passcodes to encrypted data on his computer.

In exchange, Duncan would serve at least 3 life sentences and could still face the death penalty in Kootenai County if Federal prosecutors fail to get a death penalty conviction. That outcome will not be known until Duncan's Federal charges are faced.

Late Sunday evening, the Kootenai Co. Sheriff's Office announced jury selection is cancelled on Monday. Capt. Ben Wolfinger tells KREM 2 North Idaho reporter Erik Hedlund he attended a meeting with First District Judge Fred Gibler on Sunday, who called a court hearing at 9am Monday morning.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lawyer says Duncan will admit to 4 slayings


SPOKANE, Wash. -- Lawyers for Joseph Edward Duncan III said Wednesday he will admit to the murder of 9-year-old Dylan Groene at a campsite in Montana and to three slayings in Idaho if state prosecutors will agree not to seek the death penalty.

In a letter to Prosecutor Bill Douglas of Kootenai County, Idaho, Duncan's lawyers said their client will cooperate fully with law enforcement officers, even though what he says will likely be used against him if he faces a possible death sentence in federal court later.

"Mr. Duncan will admit to the intentional killing of Dylan Groene in Montana in the early part of 2005, as well as all other crimes committed against Shasta and Dylan Groene," said the letter signed by public defenders John Adams and Roger Peven.

Peven, head of the federal public defenders office in Spokane, said Douglas has rejected the offer.

Douglas did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. A spokeswoman in his office said he did not want to comment since jury selection in the case begins Monday.

"We're ready to go on the 16th," she said.

Douglas has consistently rejected a plea bargain for Duncan. Steve Groene, father of the abducted children, in recent months has asked for a plea bargain so Shasta, now 9, would not have to face Duncan in court. Steve Groene is recovering from recent throat cancer surgery and was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.

Duncan is accused of killing the children's mother, their 13-year old brother, and their mother's boyfriend in May 2005 at their home near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Court documents allege Duncan, 43, a Tacoma native who spent most of his adult life in Washington prisons for sexual crimes against children, committed the slayings so he could kidnap the two children for sex.

Duncan allegedly took the two children to a primitive campsite in Montana and Dylan was killed at some point. Shasta, 8 at the time, was rescued at a Denny's restaurant in Coeur d'Alene after seven weeks of captivity.

Peven said Duncan is willing to plead guilty to spare Shasta the trauma of facing him in court.

"It's the right thing to do," Peven told The Associated Press. "Mr. Duncan doesn't advantage himself in any way."

A guilty plea would eliminate an anticipated two decades of appeals in which Shasta, the sole survivor of the carnage, would have to face Duncan in court, Peven said.

Duncan understands that by making the confessions, he will make it easier for the federal government to convict him of expected charges of kidnapping and murder in the abduction of Shasta and Dylan when the state case concludes, Peven said.

Shasta Groene will meet with 1st District Judge Fred Gibler on Thursday in a closed session to determine if she is competent to testify because of her age, and also whether she will be given special considerations such as not having to look directly at Duncan, or having a comforting person sit near her.

At the time of his arrest last year, Duncan was on the run from a molestation charge in Minnesota. Duncan has also been implicated in the deaths of two children in the Seattle area and one child in Southern California.

"He'll talk about anything they ask him," Peven said, but added that he did not believe Duncan was involved in the slaying of any other children.

The letter said that in exchange for a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole, Duncan would:

-Plead guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree kidnapping in the slayings by hammer blows of Brenda Groene, her fiance, Mark McKenzie; and Groene's 13-year-old son, Slade, in May 2005.

-Will cooperate fully with law enforcement officers on the state charges and the anticipated federal charges in the kidnapping of the children and the slaying of Dylan.

-Give law enforcement officers the keys to his encrypted computer files. A computer expert and prolific blogger, Duncan has bragged that officers won't be able to crack into his computer files for 30 years. The files are thought to contain extensive details of his criminal activities, including still and video pictures of his actions against the Groene children.

The encryption keys would only be supplied if Shasta Groene's legal guardian agrees that the material can be viewed by others or entered into court proceedings, the letter said.

-Family members of the victims who testify during the sentencing phase against Duncan would not be cross-examined by defense lawyers.

"Mr. Duncan is fully aware that this in no way binds the United States in its prosecution of him for any charges it may bring," the letter said.

Idaho has not executed a prisoner since 1976, except for one man who volunteered to be put to death, Peven said.

He also said the federal appeals process in a death penalty case is much faster than the state process.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Duncan Trial Starts October 16, 2006

The trial of notorious child killer Joseph Edward Duncan III will begin with jury selection October 16 for the alledged murders of Mark McKenzie, Brenda Groene and 13 year old Slade Groene. This blog author will be attending the trial and making daily updates tothis blog. There will be a federal trial concerning the kidnappings and subsequent murder of Dylan Groene scheduled after the Idaho trial ends.

In other news, Steve Groene, father of Slade, Dylan and Shasta Groene is recupping in a Seattle hospital from his third surgery on his throat to remove the final bits of cancer.

"We have had several conversations and he is doing fine, and learning how to use his new microphone," said Wendy Price, Groene's sister.

There is a Seattle news conference scheduled for Monday regarding Groene's condition.

The media has been like sharks going so far as to use Price's name to get in closer to take pictures of Groene while he lie in ICU. One female reporter posing as Price got caught in ICU readying her camara to click photos of Groene's neck as he lay asleep recovering from surgery.

Price opined, "Don't try and pretend to be me unless you have walked a mile in my shoes! It's been a hell of a year for me! I would gladly give up being me after the trauma I have suffered."

Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming trial. The judge has made it very clear to the defense counsel that no more continuances will be allowed.

All well wishers please mail your greeetings either via email at or by snail mail

Steve or Shasta Groene
P.O. Box 192
Skykomish, Wa 98288.

The Groenes wish to extend their heartfelt thank you and love for all of your prayers, cards, and phone messages.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Efforts grow to keep tabs on sex offenders

Also see link for sex offender free neighborhoods:

Efforts grow to keep tabs on sex offenders
By Kris Axtman Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

HOUSTON – Hundreds of cities and 15 states have laws that restrict where sex offenders can live. Now, private businesses are getting into the act of protecting residents from this group, too.
A Texas developer, for instance, is building "sex offender free subdivisions" here and in Kansas, and a new national website, started by a Texan, lists homes for sale that have no registered sex offenders living within a half-mile radius.

It's all part of a wide-ranging effort to address Americans' concerns about sex offenders living next door.

Just Thursday, President Bush signed into law what child advocates are calling the most sweeping sex-offender legislation in 25 years: the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, named for the murdered son of "America's Most Wanted" host, John Walsh.

By creating a national database that links the already federally mandated state registries, the new law - among other things - will make it harder for sex offenders to take advantage of varying state laws to avoid detection. It creates a new federal felony charge, punishable by 10 years in prison for failing to update their contact information, and categorizes them by tiers so that resources can be targeted at the most dangerous offenders, says Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which pushed the measure.

More than 563,000 people in the US have been convicted of sexual offenses - and 100,000 are noncompliant, meaning they have failed to keep up with registry laws, says Mr. Allen. "That is just not acceptable," he adds. "Those who won't even comply with the simple minimum requirements of identifying where they are and what they're doing pose the greatest risks. This legislation is aimed at training the nation's resources on that group."

However, his organization is not "wildly enthusiastic" about laws that restrict where sex offenders can live.

One such ordinance was passed earlier this month in Humble, Texas, north of Houston, and punishes sex offenders for living within 1,000 feet of a school or day-care facility by fining them $2,000 a day until they move.

South of Houston, so many municipalities have passed similar ordinances that surrounding communities worry that if they don't follow suit, they will become dumping grounds for sex offenders.

"The key is to know where they are and what they're doing, not to limit where they can live. Because, by doing so, you may be inadvertently pushing them into a situation where we no longer know where they are," says Allen.

Others say databases that track convicted sex offenders and ordinances that restrict where they can live miss the point. "My concern is the misdirection by public officials and parents toward strangers and away from the real threat: the family and friends they know," says John LaFond, author of "Protecting Society from Sexually Dangerous Offenders: Law, Justice, and Therapy."

Studies show that almost 80 percent of sexual-crime victims know their perpetrators, says Mr. LaFond. "These new monitoring laws are symbolic gestures by politicians to show that they are doing something. But in the long run, they do a disservice to the community."

Buying a home that is somehow "free" from sex offenders - whether in a subdivision or a neighborhood that has been screened - is a marketing ploy that feeds on uninformed fears, he adds.

But that has not stopped Texas-based I&S Investment Group from selling out all 150 lots in its "sex offender free subdivision" in Lubbock, Texas.

It is also breaking ground on a similar subdivision outside Kansas City, Kan., in August, with plans for more elsewhere.

The subdivisions' rules will ban sex offenders from moving in, and if residents become sex offenders while inside, they will be fined $1,500 a day until they move.

Taylor Goodman of Dallas in June launched, a website listing homes for sale across the country that have no sex offender living within a half-mile radius. "It's a pretty hard accomplishment," says Mr. Goodman, adding that only about 20 percent of all homes for sale qualify. "This issue knows no bounds. There was an $18 million home for sale in San Francisco that did not qualify."

He also says about 90 percent of the realtors he talks to are not happy about the new website. Studies show that property values can decline if a sex offender moves into the neighborhood.

This spring two Columbia University economists studied data in communities around Charlotte, N.C., and found that a home's value fell 4 percent when a registered sex offender moved in within a 1/10-mile radius. That added up to a loss of $4,500 to $5,000 per home and $59.5 million for the entire county, says Leigh Linden, who worked on the study.

The two concluded that people may go to great lengths to avoid living near a sex offender. "This is definitely more than politicians trying to outdo each other by being tough on crime," says Dr. Linden. "People really care about these things."