Banned from the library

January 14, 2010
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First they were prohibited from living too close to schools and then public park bans became the norm. Now, one legislator hopes to ban registered sex offenders from public libraries. If they show up there to check out a book or work on legal documents for a case, they can be charged with a Class D felony. There is one exception – they can vote in the library if that’s where their polling place is located, but the bill specifies they need to hightail it out of there once their vote is cast. No dillydallying before or after voting.

I know the idea behind the legislation HB 1326 is the same as the other bans imposed on sex offenders: to protect children. But are these bans creating a slippery slope where soon sex offenders won’t be able to leave their homes?

Children congregate in lots of places – churches, shopping malls, restaurants. Will we have to enact legislation to ban registered sex offenders from these places? I guarantee you there are sex offenders working in malls and restaurants – just visit the state’s online database of sex and violent offenders to see for yourself.

I am in no way trying to downplay the seriousness of the crimes these offenders commit against innocent children. We need to protect children as best we can from becoming victims, whether that be vigilant about knowing who lives in your neighborhood, not letting your children play or walk alone outside, or in other ways.

I know that not every sex offender can be “cured” or rehabilitated in prison. But I also know that they have served their time and that unless our legislature wants to impose tougher and longer penalties against those who commit sex crimes against children, our society is going to have to find a way to deal with sex offenders interacting with the general public.
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  1. Bill Satterlee is, indeed, a true jazz aficionado. Part of my legal career was spent as an associate attorney with Hoeppner, Wagner & Evans in Valparaiso. Bill was instrumental (no pun intended) in introducing me to jazz music, thereby fostering my love for this genre. We would, occasionally, travel to Chicago on weekends and sit in on some outstanding jazz sessions at Andy's on Hubbard Street. Had it not been for Bill's love of jazz music, I never would have had the good fortune of hearing it played live at Andy's. And, most likely, I might never have begun listening to it as much as I do. Thanks, Bill.

  2. The child support award is many times what the custodial parent earns, and exceeds the actual costs of providing for the children's needs. My fiance and I have agreed that if we divorce, that the children will be provided for using a shared checking account like this one(http://www.mediate.com/articles/if_they_can_do_parenting_plans.cfm) to avoid the hidden alimony in Indiana's child support guidelines.

  3. Fiat justitia ruat caelum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." The maxim signifies the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

  4. Indiana up holds this behavior. the state police know they got it made.

  5. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

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