#MeToo Too Far: Reflections on a Judge’s Recall in California

#MeToo Too Far: Reflections on a Judge’s Recall in California

A week after residents of Santa Clara County in Northern California voted, by a lopsided 60–40 margin, to toss out Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky for his lenient sentence in the Brock Turner sexual assault case, disquieting concerns linger about the implications of the recall vote.

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A FLURRY OF BILLS FOLLOWED LARRY NASSAR’S CONVICTION. HERE’S WHY THAT’S A PROBLEM.

A FLURRY OF BILLS FOLLOWED LARRY NASSAR’S CONVICTION. HERE’S WHY THAT’S A PROBLEM.

“The injustice in many of the laws involving sex or sex-related offenses is that they are passed without debate,” said Lawrence A. Dubin, a law professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, “without an examination of the underlying data that would show their ineffectiveness in accomplishing their intended goals and in creating people as monsters who are often not dangerous to anyone.” The Senate Judiciary Committee approved its bills in just one day. House hearings, which are already underway, are planned to go on for a number of weeks but the package is expected to easily pass.

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How Four Latinx Lesbians Recreated Their Lives After Homophobia Had Them Wrongfully Imprisoned

How Four Latinx Lesbians Recreated Their Lives After Homophobia Had Them Wrongfully Imprisoned

“A lot of people have misconceptions about the gay community…I don’t know why, but some people relate being gay or lesbian to some kind of deviant sexual behavior, like something is wrong with us,” she says. “That’s really why I think with our case, especially in the ‘90s, things took off because we were gay, and they thought, ‘of course they must have done it.’ Now, even though times have changed and things are different, there’s still always a lack of education.”

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Beyond the Carceral Logic of Civil Commitment

Beyond the Carceral Logic of Civil Commitment

Building alternatives to address interpersonal harm, creating mechanisms to hold people who harm accountable, and dismantling the world’s largest prison and policing nation, will not be achieved by tinkering around the edges. Even if all the “nons,” or those with non-sexual, non-violent and non-serious convictions, were released, the US would still harbor a massive prison system that reproduces the harm it purports to deter, and would still lock up society’s most marginalized.

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Three Cops Busted Having Sex With Opioid Thief In City Hall—Not Arrested, Not Even Fired

Three Cops Busted Having Sex With Opioid Thief In City Hall—Not Arrested, Not Even Fired

Three police officers were suspended without pay after their department learned that they were having sex while on city property—serving as a reminder that if the average citizens were caught having sex in city hall, they would have been arrested for lewd behavior while in public. But because police have one standard for themselves and another for the general public, the officers were given only a few days off without pay.

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PUNISHMENT IS NOT JUSTICE DEFYING DEFINITIONS AFTER SEXUAL VIOLENCE

PUNISHMENT IS NOT JUSTICE DEFYING DEFINITIONS AFTER SEXUAL VIOLENCE

If we are only willing to call out abusers to scapegoat and isolate them, what progress have we made toward healing for the survivor, and even the abuser? If we press charges and enter the criminal justice system to seek justice and an abuser is incarcerated, how does this address the harm done on a human-to-human level? And how are we complicit if we stand by without questioning any of the methods currently in favor when dealing with the avalanche of accusations occurring in a retributive, rather than a restorative, system?

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My Turn: John R. Grasso: Destroying lives for childish mistakes

My Turn: John R. Grasso: Destroying lives for childish mistakes

Sexting exists as an option to law enforcement when the police decide to exercise discretion. Child pornography is a felony that puts jail on the table. Sexting is a status offense. Kids who commit status offenses don’t go to jail. Child pornography requires sex offender registration. Sexting specifically does not. Child pornography is the very deep end of the cyberspace quicksand.

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The Sex Trafficking Panic Is Based On Myths

The Sex Trafficking Panic Is Based On Myths

None of this is to deny that coercion exists in the sex industry. We believe that when there is an undeniable exploiter, their victims deserve justice and protection. But because our political class believes in myths, not solid evidence, they keep creating policies directed at an imaginary bogeyman, not real criminals. Rather than taking into account the messy and uncomfortable nuances of a complex industry and equally complex people, they have chosen the path of least enlightenment. The real victims of sex trafficking will suffer because of it.

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Trans Woman Wins $100K Settlement After Reporting Brutal Rape in a Men's Prison

Trans Woman Wins $100K Settlement After Reporting Brutal Rape in a Men's Prison

Eighth Amendment claims in the prison context are particularly difficult to prove because claimants need to establish “state of mind:” that prison officials knew about that an individual was at risk of harm but opted not to act. According to the facts alleged by Manning’s attorneys — which are strenuously denied by DOCCS — it appears that prison officials were well aware of Manning’s vulnerabilities, yet still failed to protect her.

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In the age of #MeToo, can there be forgiveness, second chances?

In the age of #MeToo, can there be forgiveness, second chances?

“Part of what should be happening here is personal. Making amends to the victim, restoring the victim. And a separate part is acknowledging that the nature of this harm isn’t just the individual, you are a community. That suggests you also need to be public about what specifically was wrong and what you can do better,” Wexler said.

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Scholars: In #MeToo movement, lessons of restorative and transitional justice important

Scholars: In #MeToo movement, lessons of restorative and transitional justice important

“As the public is trying to come to terms with how to think about violators – from sexual harassers to perpetrators of sexual crimes – we wanted to explore what counts as having made things right,” Wexler said. “One answer is what’s owed to the individual victims of sexual harassment and abuse. The second is to think about the bigger purpose of the #MeToo movement, which is not so much about any one individual but highlighting that there’s a structural, societal problem.”

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After #MeToo, These Myths About Sexual Violence Still Exist — And They Need To Stop

After #MeToo, These Myths About Sexual Violence Still Exist — And They Need To Stop

“I want to see more dialogue and action surrounding inclusive activism. I want to talk about the male, and trans survivors. I want to talk about immigrant survivors. I want to talk about low functioning survivors,” says Sharkey. “More than just wanting to talk about it, I want to hear from marginalized voices — before my own. I want to unpack the complexity of how many communities simply don't have the safety to come out about sexual violence.”

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Opposition to Blanket Community Notification in New Jersey

Opposition to Blanket Community Notification in New Jersey

Today, SLAP Center delivered a letter to Assemblywoman Amy Handlin and Senator Christopher Bateman outlining our opposition to their proposal to allow for community notification of New Jersey’s Tier 1 registrants. New Jersey has three tiers of registrants, with only Tiers 2 and 3 currently available to the public. Tier 1 registrants are assessed as having little to no risk of re-offense and are not included on the publicly accessible registry, as such; the public is not notified of their registration information.

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REASON AND THE SOHO FORUM WANT TO KNOW, DO WE ABOLISH THE REGISTRY?

REASON AND THE SOHO FORUM WANT TO KNOW, DO WE ABOLISH THE REGISTRY?

So, who won? Surprisingly, the audience voted for the abolition of registries. Prior to the debate 39% voted in the affirmative, 22% in the negative, and 39% were undecided. 72% of the audience closed ranks around Dr. Horowitz after she razed the hastily constructed fortress of feelings about the registry. 16% sided with Ms. Hamilton and 12% were still undecided.

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The Sentencing of Larry Nassar Was Not ‘Transformative Justice.’ Here’s Why.

The Sentencing of Larry Nassar Was Not ‘Transformative Justice.’ Here’s Why.

Finally, in a truly transformative model of justice, we would not allow those harms to be shielded by powerful people or institutions. We would insist on focusing not just on individuals but also the institutions and structures that perpetuate, foster, and maintain interpersonal violence. In Nassar’s case, this would include the administrators at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics who ignored initial disclosures of sexual assault and took no actions to stop his violent behavior. Judge Aquilina’s ruling accomplished none of these aims.

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#MeToo Has Made Me See Anyone Is Capable Of Sexual Abuse—Including Me

#MeToo Has Made Me See Anyone Is Capable Of Sexual Abuse—Including Me

When the conversation around the #MeToo hashtag moved from morally unambiguous sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein to self-described feminists like Aziz Ansari, some took the opportunity to discuss how rape culture is so ever-present, nearly every woman has been violated, and even “good men” have violated women. But more and more, I’m realizing it goes even further than that: Nearly everyone of every gender has the potential to be both the violator and the violated.

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When Walking While Trans Is a Crime

When Walking While Trans Is a Crime

But pressure to “get the arrest” often motivates arrests without legal justification, according to Edwin Raymond, lead plaintiff in a 2015 lawsuit against City Hall and the NYPD. The suit argues that arrest quotas, which the NYPD denies exist, drive over-exuberant policing. Officers “try to find shortcuts,” he told the Cut. “Even circumventing the Constitution if needed.”

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It Could Be You Registered with Dignity

It Could Be You Registered with Dignity

Yesterday, SLAP Center was honored to speak on It Could Be You, with host John S., about our recently released reentry guide for registrants – Registering with Dignity (RWD). During the hour-long interview, we stressed that registration and incarceration isn’t a period; it doesn’t have to be a full stop and the end of your life. Use RWD as your semi colon and get a new clause on life. Understandably, life will be more difficult, and sometimes feel impossible, but your life is still waiting for you. Whether or not you find the strength to take control of it is up to you.

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Registering with Dignity: A Practical Guide to Reentry & Life on the Registry

Registering with Dignity: A Practical Guide to Reentry & Life on the Registry

“…except registrants…”

Anyone who’s been recently released, is already registered, an ally, an advocate, or a family member has heard this phrase uttered and a door promptly shut in their face or a dial tone in their ear. Although, it probably wasn’t registrant they heard, but “sex offender.” Reentry programs frequently cite this when turning registrants away from their services. Politicians slide the phrase into their policies to further their goals. Criminal legal reformers advocate it to push their own agendas. The only time registrants are included is when the conversation shifts to discuss the politics of punishment with the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Roy Moore. Attention spotlights the offense and those causing harm without creating space for repairing harm and restoring lives.

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Sex Registries as Modern-Day Witch Pyres: Why Criminal Justice Reform Advocates Need to Address the Treatment of People on the Sex Offender Registry

Sex Registries as Modern-Day Witch Pyres: Why Criminal Justice Reform Advocates Need to Address the Treatment of People on the Sex Offender Registry

While registries and their attendant requirements are sold as enhancing public safety, research consistently indicates that they are exceedingly bad at this goal. One explanation is because, contrary to Smith’s baseless assertion and what most believe, people on the registry have one of the lowest rates of re-offending out of any class of criminal.

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