Opinions

Opinions Aug. 28, 2015

August 28, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Saint Catherine Hospital of Indiana, LLC v. Indiana Family and Social Services  Administration
14-2420 & 142546
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division
Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Civil. Reverses the District Court’s order which allowed FSSA to keep the Hospital Assessment Fee it collected from St. Catherine for fiscal year 2013. Finds the 2013 HAF assessment was based on the hospital’s cost reports before it filed for bankruptcy. Concludes the claim is subject to the automatic stay.
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Opinions Aug. 27, 2015

August 27, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
C.W. and E.W., by Guardians and Next Friends Adele A. Wood and Jason A. Wood v. Textron, Inc.
14-3448
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division
Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of Textron. Finds the testimony of the three experts was properly excluded because none provided a direct link between vinyl chloride exposure and the illnesses experienced by C.W. and E.W. Disagrees with the District Court’s rationale regarding causation. Adopts 2nd Circuit approach that differential etiology is sufficient to help prove both general and specific causation.
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Opinions Aug. 26, 2015

August 26, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Eric V. Harden v. Marion County Sheriff’s Department
14-1713
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Civil. Affirms grant of summary judgment for the sheriff’s department. Finds Harden did not offer any evidence that supports his claim that he was fired in retaliation for testifying on behalf of African-American officers in a race discrimination investigation. Determines the internal affairs investigation of a theft that led to Harden’s termination was not a “sham” and a reasonable jury could find the investigation worthy of credence.
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Opinions Aug. 25, 2015

August 25, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
D.S. b/n/f George M. Stahl and Debbie Lynn Stahl v. East Porter County School Corporation, et al.
13-3549
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division
Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of the school corporation defendants, finding that in bringing a suit over alleged bullying at school, the plaintiffs did not offer sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact under the state-created danger standard.
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Opinions Aug. 24, 2015

August 24, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
JMB Manufacturing Inc., d/b/a/ Summit Forest Products Co. v. Child Craft, LLC, et al
14-3306
Harrison Manufacturing, LLC, f/k/a Child Craft, LLC v. Ron Bienias
14-3315
Civil tort. Reverses judgment on Child Craft’s negligent misrepresentation counterclaim against Bienias and Summit. Directs the District Court to enter final judgment in favor of Bienias and Summit on that counterclaim. Affirms dismissal of Child Craft’s breach of contract against Summit and Summit’s claims against Child Craft.  
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Opinions Aug. 21, 2015

August 21, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court    
In Re the Involuntary Term. of the Parent-Child Relationship of K.E., a Minor Child, and His Father, J.E., and His Mother, S.S. v. Ind. Dept. of Child Services
82S04-1508-JT-491
Juvenile. Reverses termination of parental rights of J.E. to his son, K.E. Finds although J.E. is currently incarcerated, he has taken steps to improve himself, address his drug addiction and bond with his child. Concludes the evidence is not sufficient to support the reasonable probability that the conditions that led to K.E.’s removal are unlikely to be remedied or that J.E. poses a threat to the child.
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Opinions Aug. 19, 2015

August 19, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Kyle D. Alaura v. Carolyn W. Colvin
15-1727
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
Chief Judge Philip P. Simon
Agency action. Reverses denial of application for total disability benefits, which was premature, and remands to the District Court for further consideration of Alaura’s claim.
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Opinions Aug. 18, 2015

August 18, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Carlton Hart v. Christine Mannina, et al.
14-1347
Appeal from the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Judge William T. Lawrence
Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of Mannina, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detective, and other police defendants. Hart was arrested in a murder investigation recorded for the reality television series “The Shift,” but charges later were dismissed. He sued police and the city claiming various violations of his constitutional rights. Because police had probable cause to arrest him, summary judgment in favor of the defendants was neither an abuse of discretion nor actual and substantial prejudice.
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Opinions Aug. 17, 2015

August 17, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Rebecca Riker v. Bruce Lemmon, in his official capacity, et al.
14-2910
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Civil. Reverses District Court grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants on Riker’s claim that she was improperly denied permission to marry a Department of Correction inmate. Riker is a former contract employee at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility who was terminated after a sexual relationship with an inmate. The District Court erred in granting summary judgment and concluding the DOC’s denial of her request for a one-time visit to participate in a marriage ceremony did not violate her constitutional right to marry.
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Opinions Aug. 14, 2015

August 14, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Robert E. Spierer, et al. v. Corey E. Rossman, et al.
14-3171
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt
Civil. Affirms summary judgment in favor of defendants sued by the family of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer. Plaintiffs failed to state a plausible claim under Indiana common law for negligence.
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Opinions Aug. 13, 2015

August 13, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Wayne Kubsch v. Ron Neal, superintendent, Indiana State Prison
14-1898
Appeal from the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division
Chief Judge Philip Simon
Criminal. Affirms denial of Kubsch’s habeas corpus petition. Majority rules the exclusion of testimony by neighbors which could have exonerated Kubsch was hearsay and, therefore, not admissible. In a dissent, Chief Judge Diane Wood argues the testimony should have been admitted under Chambers v. Mississippi, 410 U.S. 284 (1973).
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Opinions Aug. 12, 2015

August 12, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Fifty Six LLC, individually and, alternatively, in the name of the State of Indiana on relation of Fifty Six LLC v. The Metropolitan Development Commission of Marion County
49A05-1407-PL-323
Civil plenary.  Reverses and remands denial of landowner Fifty Six LLC’s motion to correct error and granting of the development commission’s cross motion for summary judgment regarding the adoption of the Millersville Plan to guide development of a northeast-side Indianapolis community. Fifty Six had standing to challenge the Millersville plan and the MDC did not comply with required notice and hearing provisions before the hearing on the Millersville Plan’s adoption. Remanded for proceedings.
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Opinions Aug. 11, 2015

August 11, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
LHO Indianapolis One Lessee, LLC v. Esther Bowman, Individually and on Behalf of Other Similarly Situated Individuals
49A02-1411-CT-811
Civil tort. Reverses the trial court’s certification of a class defined by Bowman. Finds members of the class did not meet the requirement of Indiana Trial Rule 23(B)(3) by showing their illnesses were caused by eating the same contaminated food. Remands with the options of either redefining the class under Indiana Trial Rule23(C)(4)(a) or continuing under T.R. 23(B)(3) with respect to the hotel’s general liability only. 
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Opinions Aug. 10, 2015

August 10, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Dennis R. Williams and Leslie Ann Williams and Indiana Dept. of Revenue and Clark County Indiana
13-2359
Appeal from U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division
Chief Judge Richard Young
Civil. Affirms order the property belonging to the Williamses be sold and the receipts divided among the Internal Revenue Service, the state of Indiana and Clark County. Finds the U.S. secretary of the treasury did authorize the proceedings and the attorney general did direct the action to commence. Holds the Williamses did receive notification of the amount of taxes they owed. Rules the state and county claims belong in the proceeding. Concludes the District Court’s decision is sensible and not an abuse of discretion.
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Opinions Aug. 7, 2015

August 7, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday
United States of America v. Jeffrey P. Taylor
14-3790
Appeal from the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division
Judge Rudy Lozano
Criminal. Vacates sentence for Taylor convicted in 2007 of attempted transferring obscene materials to minors and remands to the District Court to remove a special condition of probation barring Taylor from viewing otherwise legal adult pornography. Taylor must make all Internet-accessible devices available for inspection without reasonable suspicion. A ban on contact with minors is overly broad. Judge David Hamilton concurred in part but dissented on lifting the pornography ban, finding no abuse of discretion. Judge Frank Easterbrook concurred separately to cite jurisdictional conflicts.
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Opinions Aug. 6, 2015

August 6, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Sandra McGuire
14-3545
Appeal from the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division
Judge James Moody
Criminal. Dismisses appeal over the denial of McGuire’s motion to withdraw a guilty plea to money laundering for depositing $2,200 in drug proceeds into her checking account. McGuire’s plea agreement included a waiver of appeal, and this applies to her motion to withdraw the plea after it was accepted but before she was sentenced.
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Opinions Aug. 5, 2015

August 5, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
BGC Entertainment, Inc. d/b/a Brad's Gold Club and 3551 Lafayette Road Corp. d/b/a Brad's Gold Club v. Jerry Coleman Buchanan, by His Father and Guardian, Odell Buchanan
49A05-1408-CT-373
Civil tort. Affirms denial of summary judgment in favor of Brad’s Gold Club parties in a negligence action resulting from a pedestrian’s injuries caused by a club waitress’s crash on her way home from work after she had been furnished alcohol. There are issues of fact concerning whether the club provided the waitress alcohol with knowledge she was visibly intoxicated and whether it breached its duty to supervise her. Buchanan’s cross-motion for summary judgment also was properly denied because evidence establishes that the waitress had no knowledge of her own level of intoxication to be imputed to the club.
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Opinions Aug. 4, 2015

August 4, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
David J. Markey v. Estate of Frances S. Markey, Deceased; Stephen L. Routson, Personal Representative Under the Last Will and Testament of Frances S. Markey, Deceased et al
89S05-1412-ES-749
Estate. Reverses summary judgment in favor of the defendants. Agrees with David Markey that his claim for breach of contract to make and not revoke mutual wills is a claim governed by the probate code. Remands to determine if Markey was a “creditor” who was “known or reasonably ascertainable” and therefore timely filed his claim.  
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Opinions Aug. 3, 2015

August 3, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Louise Milan v. Billy Bolin, in his individual capacity as Evansville Police Department Chief, et al.
15-1207
Appeal from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division
Judge William Lawrence
Civil. Affirms denial of summary judgment in favor of the Evansville police defendants on Louise Milan’s claim of excessive use of force resulting from a SWAT team raid on her house initiated with the use of flash-bang grenades. Denial of the defendants’ motion for summary judgment is reasonable considering the use of flash bangs, the skimpy basis for the search and its prematurity, and the failure to conduct a more extensive investigation.
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Opinions July 31, 2015

July 31, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
The following opinion was posted after IL deadline Thursday
In Re the Visitation of L-A.D.W., R.W. v. M.D. and W.D.
82S01-1507-DR-452
Domestic. Affirms trial court grant of grandparent visitation, finding visitation in the child’s best interests and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in setting a schedule it deemed occasional and temporary. Justice Steven David wrote the majority opinion joined by Justices Brent Dickson and Mark Massa. Chief Justice Loretta Rush concurred, but wrote separately to caution that a reliance upon deference to the trial court insufficiently protects a parent’s constitutional right to guide a child’s upbringing, but in this case, the visitation order did not unduly infringe on father’s parental rights. Justice Robert Rucker joined Rush’s concurring opinion.
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Opinions July 30, 2015

July 30, 2015
Indiana Supreme Court
Wellpoint, Inc. (F/K/A Anthem, Inc.) and Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, AIG Europe (U.K.) Limited, et al
49S05-1404-PL-244
Civil plenary. Grants petition for rehearing to modify the Supreme Court’s previous opinion. Finds its reversal should be clarified to grant summary judgment in favor of Anthem but only on the issues raised in Continental’s motion of summary judgment. Holds Continental did not waive its unasserted defenses.
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Opinions July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
United States of America v. Robert L. Lee
14-2010
Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division.
Judge Robert L. Miller
Affirms revocation of supervised release for violation of terms due to commission of a crime. Rejects Lee’s argument that due process under the Fifth Amendment and Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32.1 requires citation to a specific statute to provide written notice of the alleged violation.
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Opinions July 28, 2015

July 28, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Grant E. Bentrud v. Bowman Heintz Boscia & Vician, P.C.
14-2384
Appeal from the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Judge William Lawrence.
Civil. Affirms grant of summary judgment in favor of Bowman Heintz. Finds Bowman Heintz did not violate the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act for filing a second motion for summary judgment after the 30-day deadline to initiate arbitration had passed.
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Opinions July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015
7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The following opinion was issued after IL deadline Friday
Katherine Cerajeski, Guardian for Walter Cerajeski v. Greg Zoeller, Attorney General of the State of Indiana, et al.
15-1313
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson
Civil. Reverses dismissal of Cerajeski’s claim as moot, holding that she is entitled to legal fees because the suit led to a change in state law that enabled her to obtain damages sought in the litigation. Remands for a determination of reasonable legal fees, expressing a tentative view that the amount sought for the prior appeal –  $258,462.50 for 375.75 hours – is excessive.
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Opinions July 24, 2015

July 24, 2015
Indiana Court of Appeals
Antyon Buford v. State of Indiana
20A05-1408-CR-392
Criminal. Reverses convictions of Class A felony dealing cocaine, Class B felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance. A warrant on which the search of Buford’s residence was premised was not supported by probable cause. Remands for proceedings.
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  1. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

  2. A high ranking bureaucrat with Ind sup court is heading up an organization celebrating the formal N word!!! She must resign and denounce! http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

  3. ND2019, don't try to confuse the Left with facts. Their ideologies trump facts, trump due process, trump court rules, even trump federal statutes. I hold the proof if interested. Facts matter only to those who are not on an agenda-first mission.

  4. OK so I'll make this as short as I can. I got a call that my daughter was smoking in the bathroom only her and one other girl was questioned mind you four others left before them anyways they proceeded to interrogate my daughter about smoking and all this time I nor my parents got a phone call,they proceeded to go through her belongings and also pretty much striped searched my daughter including from what my mother said they looked at her Brest without my consent. I am furious also a couple months ago my son hurt his foot and I was never called and it got worse during the day but the way some of the teachers have been treating my kids they are not comfortable going to them because they feel like they are mean or don't care. This is unacceptable in my mind i should be able to send my kids to school without worry but now I worry how the adults there are treating them. I have a lot more but I wanted to know do I have any attempt at a lawsuit because like I said there is more that's just some of what my kids are going through. Please respond. Sincerely concerned single parent

  5. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

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