National Victim Rights Week

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Today National Victim’s Rights Week was acknowledged on the West Steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento. Crime Victims United sponsored an event, so there were plenty of speeches and participating politicians included Governor Jerry Brown. However, it was the victims and murder victim family members who really stood out because each and every one interrupted their lives in order to take a stand for victim’s rights, acknowledge their lost loved ones, and lobby their legislators for effective public safety policy and legislation.

Victims Prayer

Victims Prayer

The importance of being personally involved in the political process cannot be overstated. I’ve been doing it since 1993, when my daughter was murdered by a violent offender with an extensive criminal history. In those days, there were very few legislative fall back positions for children who were being victimized. Call me a cynic, but I truly believe that was because kids don’t vote and politicians don’t have to look them in the eye. Therefore they didn’t have a real voice.

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Things have changed enormously since then as the result of a series of tragic crimes and effective children’s advocates. We have Amber Alerts, Megan’s Law, law enforcement missing child protocols, and greater awareness and education surrounding child safety and child welfare issues.

Crime Victim's Harriet Salarno, Lexie Ashford, and Nina Salarno-Ashford

Crime Victim’s Harriet Salarno, Lexie Ashford, and Nina Salarno-Ashford

When I refer to being involved in the political process I’m not talking about the process as practiced in the houses of government that results in political perp walks on the 11:00 p.m. News. I don’t mean politicians like U.S. Congressman Mark Foley who left Washington D.C. in disgrace after he was found soliciting young boys serving as Congressional pages. I don’t mean pious hypocrites like Leland Yee, who I saw walking the halls of California’s Capitol on the day he got arrested, however I don’t think he’d been arrested yet because he wasn’t wearing handcuffs. I don’t mean corrupt politicians like state Senator’s Ronald Calderon and Roderick Wright who yesterday joined Yee in having their names and online archives disappear from the Senate website yesterday.

Sweet Polly...Never Forgotten!

Sweet Polly…Never Forgotten!

In 1995, I joined Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a coalition of prosecutors, police chiefs and crime victims lobbying for prevention funding for at-risk children. In 1995 the federal government was funding quality pre-school and after school activities for 10,000 children, but today, in large part because of people like you and me who became personally involved in the political process that number has grown to 1,000,000.

John

John

I don’t mean the ideological political process that paralyzes legislative bodies throughout the United States. People have differences, but can usually find common ground on the issues that are important to us, particularly if those issues regard the well-being of our kids. However, ideological politics has paralyzed the legislative process so that nothing meaningful ever gets done.

With 3-Strikes guru Mike Reynolds

With 3-Strikes guru Mike Reynolds

Let me give you an example that perfectly illustrates how popular and common sense policy concepts that cannot get a vote in the legislature can become law when people become involved. In 2011 I spent a lot of time here at the Capitol with Chris Kelly, Suzanne DiNubile and others lobbying for legislation requiring registered sex offenders to include Internet identifiers like email address and social networking handles. We watched as two separate bills died in committee. In 2012 that concept became an integral component of Prop. 35. Under Daphne Phung’s vision and leadership Prop. 35 passed by the widest margin of any initiative in California history with more than 81% of the vote.

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Today I went to the Capitol because National Victim’s Rights week is April 6-12. It represents an opportunity for people like me to remind our elected officials what’s really important. I’ve always felt that their primary duty is public safety, but the isolation and insulation of this building confuses them and sometimes they need to be reminded what is important and who they serve.

No more victims

No more victims

Right now there is a disturbing trend in the Capitol that is putting us all at risk. Many of the accomplishments that cut California’s crime rate in half 20-years ago is being undone by the legislators in this very building. Governor Brown’s realignment policy has dumped tens of thousands of violent criminals onto our streets. The repeal of 3-strikes will allow thousands of lifers to go free. Failure to enforce Jessica’s Law has allowed an untold number of registered sex offenders to abscond. A law written by Senator Lee will allow remorseless killers to be released back into society, and finally Governor Brown’s decision to parole more than twice as many lifers than his three predecessors combined.

Color Guard

Without people like us making our views known to our elected officials we will find ourselves in dire straits. Because we live in dynamic communities that change and evolve and sometimes can be hazardous, while they live in marble lined halls where your hands don’t get dirty and your farts don’t smell. Sometimes they just need to be reminded that people matter, that showing the courage to do the right thing is more important than toeing the line for rigid ideology, or making decisions based on personal gain.

Betrayal

Soon after my daughter Polly was kidnapped on October 1, 1993, she became known as America’s child. Donations to assist and facilitate the search poured in from the far corners of America. Violet and I founded the nonprofit Polly Klaas Foundation (PKF) to best administer funds and to protect ourselves from potential speculation that we would misappropriate money donated to help find Polly. We wanted to be proactive in ensuring that the focus remained on finding Polly.

 

Nonprofit organizations are governed by a Board of Directors. For the PKF we chose individuals who were prominent during the early days of the search. In fact, Violet and I left much of the organizing to those very people as we immersed ourselves in the search for our missing daughter. We named the organization after Polly because the donations, the focus and the hope was all about my daughter. Before the month of October, 1993 ended the Internal Revenue Service had conferred nonprofit status on the PKF.

 

Board responsibilities included fundraising, program development and financial management. Generally, Boards of Directors do not become involved in the day to day running of an organization. Those are tasks that are left to the nonprofit’s President, Executive Director, and staff.

 

Upon learning of Polly’s tragic death on Dec. 4, it was our intention to lobby for laws that would protect children, use the remaining $283,000 to help find other missing children, and continue fundraising, but the PKF Board made it difficult to accomplish these objectives. They seemed more concerned about protecting (their) assets and enjoying the status of sitting on the Board of a high profile nonprofit organization. This resulted in deep and ingrained tension between Violet, me and the Board. Violet, who was not a member of the Board, was not allowed to attend meetings. At these meetings I often found myself with very few allies.

 

Janet Reno’s visit to Petaluma in July, 1994 was a good example of my conflict with the Board. I had secured the United States Attorney General to speak at a town hall meeting to discuss crimes against children. As a result, the PKF Board accused me of grandstanding. They reasoned that if the Attorney General’s visit was a success I would receive the glory, but if it failed they would take the blame. After Ms. Reno’s visit, which went very well, drew massive media attention, and filled the hall at the Petaluma Community Center, relations between the Board and me became even more strained.

President Clinton signing the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994

Within a year of my daughter’s kidnapping several events foreshadowed our rocky nonprofit experience and lonely crusade. On September 13, 1994, I stood on the podium with President Clinton at the White House when he signed The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The President gave me the first pen that he used to sign the bill. The Crime Bill provided for 100,000 new cops, allocated $6.1-billion in prevention funds for at risk children, and nearly $10-billion for prison construction costs.

 

Within days of my invitation to join the president the PKF Board informed me that I was no longer allowed to pursue criminal justice legislation. They argued that a non-profit organization is prohibited from advocating for new laws. They knew that this was not accurate. What was happening was the PKF Board had created a mission limitation that did not include legislation. Violet and I believed that Polly’s legacy had to include powerful public policy positions that would protect other children from her tragedy.

 

Without hesitation and a sense of urgency a separate non-profit application to create what would become known as the KlaasKids Foundation had been submitted from which to lobby, advocate and promote legislation. The PKF Board said that I had created a conflict of interest by finding an avenue that would allow me to pursue goals that they forbade me from pursuing. This was their justification for expelling me from the nonprofit that bore my daughter’s name. Ironically, the current PKF website states that a primary objective is to effect legislation which, “Will ensure that children can be safe in their own homes and communities.”

 

Within one year and 20-days of my daughter’s death, on October 21, 1994, without my knowledge, the PKF Board secured a trademark for the name Polly Klaas. My daughter’s name now belonged to the Polly Klaas Foundation.

 

Within a month of trademarking my daughter’s name, while Violet and I were out of town, the PKF Board voted me off the board during a secret meeting. This was the first Board meeting that I did not attend since the inception of the organization. Over the telephone the Board President informed me that I was expelled from the nonprofit organization that bore my daughter’s name. I felt that I had lost my daughter yet again. Violet and I were no longer welcome at the Foundation that we had created and hoped would become Polly’s legacy. We had been betrayed.

 

When Violet and I were locked out of the PKF we had $2,000, a fledgling nonprofit that would become the KlaasKids Foundation and knives in our backs. We felt that we had lost our daughter yet again. With a sense of urgency we believed that there was no time to lose, because otherwise everyone would forget. We struggled. Violet worked a full time job; I volunteered my time to KlaasKids. We lived frugally, turning our home into an office. We worked 18-hour days writing, advocating, traveling and otherwise pursuing our window of opportunity. Fortunately, our voice and our passion were being heard on television, radio, in the op-ed pages of newspapers and at KlaasKids events throughout the country.

 

It was through KlaasKids that we built a solid reputation for action and accomplishment. Meanwhile the PKF struggled. With just a few months of operating expenses left in their account, PKF launched a high profile car donation program. For the next several years a confused public donated millions of dollars’ worth of vehicles in Polly’s name despite the fact that the PKF produced minimal results.

 

The sense of betrayal continues to this day. Today it was brought to my attention that there is an organization exploiting missing Morgan Hill cheerleader Sierra LaMar for profit. The families who suffer and are victimized by the loss of their children are victimized yet again by those who steal, exploit or profit off of personal tragedy. I have witnessed too many instances of family members pursuing a legacy in honor of their loved one only to have their organization hijacked.

 

Shame on them! People or groups who oust family members betray the memories of crime victims by heaping insult upon injury. Sometimes I can still feel the knife in my back, but I take solace in the knowledge that Polly was my child and that her legacy is my destiny. KlaasKids may not bare Polly’s name, but we have created her legacy and given meaning to her death. One of the lessons of betrayal is to remain strong and not allow it to tarnish our character.

 

 

 

 

 

Proposition 35 and Human Sex Trafficking

On November 6, California voters can launch the single largest movement against human trafficking in our country and pass the toughest anti-human trafficking law in the United States by voting YES on Proposition 35. We will deliver a firm statement to traffickers around the world that we take slavery seriously and care about those in bondage.

 

Human trafficking, the modern day equivalent of slavery, became an American legislative priority when President Bush signed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000. Human trafficking, which includes labor and sex trafficking, is acknowledged as the second most profitable international criminal enterprise after drug smuggling. Victims of human trafficking are forced or coerced to work or commit sexual acts by violent criminals who strip them of their dignity and their freedom.

The TVPA was based on the theory that the United States is a destination country for human trafficking. However, original TVPA estimates of 50,000 women and children trafficked into the United States annually have since been downgraded to 14,500-17,500 per year, so initial estimates were reduced by more than two-thirds after the legislation was signed into law. The direction of the TVPA, which agencies would administer it, and which populations would be targeted were based upon seriously flawed data.

 

The Federal definition of sex trafficking includes when, “a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age.” It is very simple: according to Federal law, children can never consent to prostitution, it is always exploitation. A person who has not attained 18 years of age and is induced to perform a commercial sex act is then a victim of human sex trafficking. Therefore, all underage youth who are involved in prostitution, and who are under the influence of a pimp, are by definition, victims of human sex trafficking.”

 

Between 1.6 and 2.8 million children run away annually in the U.S., half of which are girls. Within 48 hours of hitting the streets, one third of these children are lured or recruited into the underground world of prostitution or pornography.  The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14.  For boys, the entry age is 11-13.

 

These harrowing statistics provides broad justification for a growing focus upon the domestic side of this issue, because the statistics conclusively demonstrate that the USA is a source country as well as a destination country for Human Sex Trafficking. Unfortunately, the vast majority of resources unleashed by the TVPA are still globally directed. This is why Prop 35 is so important to California’s future.

 

In addition, current California law is inadequate to deal with the realities of human trafficking in our state. The California Trafficking Victims Protection Act (CTVPA), passed in 2005, established human trafficking for forced labor or services as a felony crime punishable by a sentence of 3, 4 or 5 years in state prison and a sentence of 4, 6 or 8 years for trafficking of a minor. Incredibly, according to California law, there is no stated penalty for sex trafficking of a minor without force. The CTVPA was written when domestic human trafficking was viewed as a crime impacting mainly foreign nationals brought into this country. It overlooked thousands of American minors and adults who were also exploited.

Proposition 35 will eliminate barriers to prosecute child sex traffickers by removing the requirement to prove “force, fraud or coercion” of a minor trafficking victim. Prop 35 will deter traffickers in California with higher penalties and fines, use fines to fund victim services, mandate training for law enforcement officers, require convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders, require all sex offenders to disclose Internet accounts, and protect victims in court proceedings.

 

The choice is clear. On November 6, California voters can draw a line in the sand and stand up for domestic victims of human sex trafficking, or we can continue a status quo approach that criminalizes young victims as it celebrates some of the most heinous criminals in our midst: human sex traffickers. I am going to vote Yes on Prop 35, because to turn our backs on the tens of thousands of children being trafficked in California is simply another form of victimization.

Sierra LaMar: Anatomy of a Search Day 116

The recent plea hearing for the individual accused of kidnapping and killing Sierra LaMar demonstrated yet again the preferential treatment afforded to criminals. The defendant waived his right to appear in court and his lawyers asked for the hearing to be postponed while they subpoena cell phone records currently under seal. The judge granted a continuance until August 29, when a plea may be entered. This shadow maneuver only postpones the inevitable since it is guaranteed that the defendant will plead not guilty to all charges. I agree with the Constitutional guarantees that Sierra’s accused killer must treated fairly, but what about her family. Shouldn’t they have rights too?

In order to guarantee equal protection under the law the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution, otherwise known as the Bill of Rights, provides fundamental rights to individuals who are accused of crimes. Those rights include: the presumption that the defendant is innocent, the burden on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the right to remain silent, confront witnesses, have a public trial by jury, be adequately represented by an attorney, not to be tried twice for the same offense, and the right to a speedy trial.

32 states have amendments in their Constitutions that guarantee some level of victims’ rights, and more than 32,000 statutes have been passed in states and at the federal level that define and protect the rights of crime victims. These rights vary from state to state, but tend to include: the right to notification of proceedings and to attend proceedings, the right to be heard, the right to compensation, and the right to protection.

 

The major distinction between defendants’ rights and victims’ rights is that the United States Constitution guarantees the rights of defendants, while the rights of victims are guaranteed by either statute or a state’s constitution. The word victim does not exist in the U.S. Constitution and victims of crime have virtually no legal standing in the ultimate law of the land. This means that there is no equity under the law. The rights of defendants will always trump the rights of victims.

 

The only way that crime victims will ever receive equal treatment in the criminal justice system is through the passage of a crime victims’ amendment to the United States Constitution. Amending the U.S. Constitution is a difficult process. Amendments must be proposed to the states by a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress, and then be ratified by three-fourths of the states before it becomes law. Currently, there are 27 amendments to the United States Constitution.

 

It is an unfortunate irony that constitutional rights created to protect the innocent now shield the guilty. In 2010, U.S. residents age 12 or older experienced an estimated 18.7 million violent and property crime victimizations. That is down from 2001, when we suffered 24.2 million violent and property crime victimizations. When millions of American citizens’ lives are forever impacted by the violent actions of others, we need to take steps to protect their rights as we do the rights of the accused.

What can we do to rectify this imbalance? A bi-partisan effort to create a Victims’ Rights Amendment fell short about a decade ago. Sponsored by Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ), and with the support of Presidents Clinton and Bush, the proposed amendment never made it to the states for ratification.

 

However, House Joint Resolution 6, currently before the United States Congress would establish a Victims Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If passed, H. J. Res. 106 will give victims of crime the right to fairness, respect, and dignity. Victims will further have the right to reasonable notice of and ability to attend public proceedings relating to the offense; the rights to be heard at any release, plea, sentencing, or other such proceeding. My sources tell me that 100 co-sponsors will bring House Joint Resolution 6 to the House Floor for a vote! We need to act now before the legislative session draws to a close. Your voice matters!  Visit www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb to find your Representative, call him or her now and ask him or her to co-sponsor H. J. Res. 106.

Thomas Jefferson

We should never lightly amend the United States Constitution. However, victims of crime will never be fairly treated by a system that does not afford them equal fundamental rights, and that can only be achieved through constitutional amendment. Thomas Jefferson eloquently stated the need to occasionally modify the ultimate law of the land: “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered, and manners and opinions change; with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”

The UN-SAFE Act

Polly’s killer has been on death row since 1996. This November, California voters will be asked to overturn his sentence and the death sentences of 723 other serial killers, baby killers, cop killers and mass murderers. A proposition called the Savings, Accountability, Full Enforcement (SAFE) Act, which will appear on California’s ballot, will retroactively outlaw the death penalty in favor life without the possibility of parole. Abolitionists, led by the ACLU, claim that we should abolish the death penalty because it’s broken. They use the administrative bottlenecks that they created as justification for eliminating the death penalty. Now they believe that voters will be fooled into approving an initiative that will reward evil scum under the guise of alleged cost saving.   

If the death penalty is broken, mend it, don’t end it. Adopt a single drug for executions. Several other states, including Ohio, Washington, and Arizona use a constitutionally valid single drug for executions. Since 2009, Ohio has conducted 14 executions using a single drug method. Executions in California have been delayed because death penalty opponents endlessly file appeals, claiming the current 3-drug method is unconstitutional because it may be “cruel and unusual.” The final ten minutes of a remorseless killer’s life are not legitimate grounds to delay the death penalty.

Several legislative and constitutional efforts can be adopted to fix the appeals process. Retired California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron George endorsed a Constitutional Amendment to allow Appeals Courts to hear appeals thereby significantly reducing costs and delays. Modify and limit the time for filing certain types of appeals. Require defense attorneys to take appeals and thereby reduce delays. Currently, California has more than 171,000 practicing attorneys, yet only about 100 are qualified to represent automatic appeals.

Unfortunately, elected officials who advocate on behalf of death row inmates never allow those efforts to see the light of day. On April 17 I testified before the Senate Public Safety Committee on two bills that would have streamlined the process. Senate Bill 1514 would have eliminated the automatic appeal in cases, like Polly’s, where guilt was never in doubt. It was defeated by a straight party vote. Senate Constitutional Amendment 20 (SCA 20) would have amended the California Constitution so that appeals of death penalty cases would go to the California Court of Appeals instead of the California Supreme Court. The 105 Appeals Court justices would be able to rule on many more death penalty appeals than the 7 Supreme Court justices thereby greatly easing the backlog. SCA 20 was defeated because it would cost too much.

Politicians who would tax our inner organs in an effort to save a population of salamanders become fiscal conservatives when it comes to the death penalty. There is no objective data that elimination of the death penalty will save money. The studies relied on by death penalty opponents are misleading and inflated and were either written by them or rely on data collected by them. The only unbiased study to determine the true costs was done by the RAND Corporation, a nonpartisan organization which operates independent of political pressures. The RAND Corporation found there was no objective data available to give a true estimate of the costs of the death penalty.

The death penalty is a law that is supported by a majority of Californians. The law of the land and the will of the people have been subverted by administrative shenanigans, frivolous appeals, endless delays and moral bankruptcy. The very individuals and organizations who have created a broken system in California now want the voters to legitimize their misanthropic actions. California’s so called SAFE Act mocks our system of crime and punishment as it attempts to give our very worst criminals the very thing that they denied their victims: to right to live their lives in safety and die in peace.

Death of Democracy – or at least a minor glitch!

On Tuesday, April 18, I testified before the California Senate Public Safety Committee on two pieces of legislation that would begin the process of fixing California’s broken death penalty. The committee is dominated by liberal Democrats and the author of the legislation is a Conservative Republican. However, we all agree that the system is broken and that if executions, which are the law of the land and are supported by a majority of the population, are to proceed, certain legislative and administrative adjustments must be made. Senate Bill 1514, which was quickly defeated, would have eliminated the automatic appeal to the California Supreme Court for any death row inmate whose guilt was known and unquestioned. The following represents my testimony on behalf of Senate Constitutional Amendment 20, which would have diverted automatic appeals from the California Supreme Court, which has 7 jurists, to the California Court of Appeals, which has more than 100 jurists.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve sat here and testified on behalf of opportunities to fix the death penalty. I’ve testified on behalf of some of Senator Harmon’s bills and have at long last come to the conclusion that this committee has absolutely no intent of fulfilling the law of the land. They have absolutely no intent of doing anything more than protecting the most heinous individuals amongst us.  You people don’t care about my daughter; you people don’t care about any of the victims. You are interested in subverting the law of the land.”

“I think that you should be ashamed for the stand that you are taking here today. There is no way that the death penalty will ever be fixed, and we all agree that it is a broken system, as long as you turn your back on every common sense solution that’s put forth.  Yes indeed, it is about not having enough lawyers, but you know what? We have about 170,000 practicing lawyers in California and only 100 of them are qualified to hear death penalty appeals?”

“Yes, we have a problem with the court system. The Supreme Court cannot hear all of these cases. They have hundreds of cases on their dockets and they can only hear a few every year. You need to stand up and do something real for the people of California. Support the will of the people; support the law of the land. Thank you for your time.”

Committee Chairperson Loni Hancock said, “Thank you for your time. We do have committee rules that indicate that we don’t make attacks on members of the committee or people who are appearing as witnesses. Let me point out that it would help some of this argument if there were tax money to pay $184-million per year which is what it would cost on professional estimates to actually provide constitutional protection.”

And how much does it cost to let this go on year after year after year? How much does it cost to house Richard Allen Davis on death row…”

This is when my microphone was cut off, democracy was denied and a tax and spend liberal State Senator revealed that she was instead a fiscal conservative.

What Should Have Happened – Polly Klaas

On October 2, 1993 Polly and the two girls who spent the night at her slumber party woke up at about 9:00 am, rolled up their sleeping bags, washed up, brushed their teeth and ate blueberry pancakes for breakfast. They’d been up the night before playing Nintendo and a favorite board game called Perfect Match. After Kate and Gillian left about an hour later Polly helped her mom Eve and half-sister Annie pack for their weekend trip to Monterey, about three-hours down the coast from their home in Petaluma, CA. On the way to the car Polly locked the back door, which had been left unlocked the night before. Polly was spending the weekend with her dad in Sausalito

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This should have happened because Richard Allen Davis was properly denied parole at a hearing three months previously. Davis was a known threat to society. When he was a child Davis tortured and killed animals. During the course of his extensive criminal history he was sentenced to more than 200 years behind bars. In 1978 he was diagnosed as a sexually sadistic psychopath. He chose to victimize women who were isolated and alone.
On June 27, 1993 Davis was paroled after serving less than half of a sixteen-year-sentence for kidnapping, pistol whipping, and robbing $6,000 from his victim. During August and September 1993, many people in Petaluma crossed paths with Richard Allen Davis. On September 27, Daryl Stone went to Wickersham Park, diagonally across the street from Polly’s house. He passed within twenty feet of Richard Davis who was sitting on a park bench with a heavy set, ruddy complexioned woman about a hundred and fifty yards from Polly’s house. Davis was wearing dirty jeans and a sweatshirt with cut sleeves. They were drinking liquor from a bottle in a paper bag, talking loudly. Their demeanor and attitude disgusted Stone. He did not want to be in the park with the crude couple, so he went home, one block away.
What should have happened is that he called the police who then dispatched a patrolman to the scene. Because the interaction was prompted by a citizen complaint the officer had probable cause to run a criminal history on the crude, disheveled drifter whose arms were covered in prison tattoos. The officer arrested him on the spot because Davis, who did not live in Petaluma, was in violation of his parole. The career criminal was returned to San Quentin prison to serve out the remainder of his sentence for kidnapping and pistol whipping his previous victim.
California lawmakers, unconcerned with public safety, released Davis from prison in 2001. Three months later Davis was loitering in Sausalito, California’s Dunphy Park. He had been spending quite a lot of time in that park lately because he had his eye on a pretty and carefree twelve-year-old girl who passed by daily. It was a balmy spring afternoon when he stole a bicycle that belonged to one of a group of boys that were fishing along the shoreline. He was immediately arrested.
Given the nature of his criminal history the Marin County District Attorney decided to prosecute Davis under California’s Three-Strikes-and-You’re Out penalty enhancement statute. Davis was convicted and sentenced to twenty-five-years to life in prison. He died before his sentence was completed.

This is what should have happened. Too bad reality got in the way and no one was held accountable and hearts were broken. Life goes on.

My Name is Lloyd Jones and I Murder Children

I knew that what I was doing was wrong, but amazingly, it wasn’t against the law. After all, I’d been convicted of rape ten years before. They say that I’m a predator, but I’m simply taking advantage of an opportunity to find women…or girls to have sex with. That’s why I have so many profiles on social networking and dating sites. That’s why I posted a picture of my junk on one of them. That she was only sixteen-years-old and I’m thirty-six isn’t my problem. I mean, she came to me of her own free will. She even got into the car. That was probably her biggest mistake. It was certainly her last mistake.
Next time I’ll have to remember to cover my tracks better, because if I had been more careful, I probably wouldn’t be in jail facing the death penalty right now. You know, get a disposable phone, and bury my identity even deeper when I create a social networking profile online. I probably should have thought it through and established a somewhat viable alibi. Next time I won’t bury the evidence on family property.
It wasn’t really worth it, but God, do I love fresh meat. You know, chickens and girls really are alike. They both squawk when you wring their necks. That’s when she became disposable. What did she think anyway, that I wanted to meet her that night to go out for a Coke? Oh, wait! That is what I told her isn’t it? Whatever! If she could have keep her mouths shut and do as I told her everything would have turned out okay.
Well, not really, because the thrill really is in the kill. You know, the end game. To have the power of God: Hell I am God. She was mine and I pulled the plug on her worthless life: hehehehe! Her neck was so soft, so pliable, delicate and small. Another beautiful memory to ensure that I will not be alone in my cell: something divine to carry to my grave.
Sometimes life is sweet. I sure hope that they don’t execute me. Wait! Of course they won’t. They don’t execute anybody anymore. Hehehehe! Life is really and truly sweet. After all, I do have my memories.
At approximately 7:30 pm on February 10, 2012 36-year-old convicted rapist Lloyd Jones lured 16-year-old Angela Allen to her death. He didn’t lurk in the bushes outside her home. Instead he used a social networking profile under the guise of a teenaged boy. If you live in California sign the CASE Act petition today so we can vote for a safer California in November. If you live in Alabama, support the Alabamians Against Sexual Exploitation Act that just sailed through the State senate. Both of these pieces of legislation will require registered sex offenders to include Internet identifiers as a component of their annual registration procedure. This will allow social networks to monitor or eliminate relevant profiles from their online communities.

Alabama Legislature Steps Up to Protect Kids!

I have been part of an effort in California to legislate a Megan’s Law update by including internet identifiers as part of the registration process. Last year two bills carefully drafted to address this singular issue (AB 755 – SB 57) were killed in committee, meaning they never made it to the floor of the respective houses for an up and down vote. It makes one wonder why California’s lawmakers prioritize the privacy of registered sex offenders ahead of the safety of children? The Alabama State Legislature has no such compunctions. This afternoon I testified on behalf of the Alabamians Against Sexual Exploitation Act, which will bridge the gap between Megan’s Law and the 21stCentury, and do more. Much more!
“Mr. Chairman and members of the committee I want to thank you for affording me the opportunity to talk about this very important issue. Sometimes, when we get our priorities mixed up we need a reality check. The Alabamians Against Sexual Exploitation Act is that reality check.

Human trafficking is a criminal business that profits from enslaving people for sexual servitude and forced labor. It is the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world today (second only to drug trafficking and tied with illegal arms). According to the Trafficking in Victims Protection Act, which was signed into law by President George Bush in 2000, human sex trafficking occurs when, ‘a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.’

Since 2000, we have learned that the U.S. is as much a supply country as it is a demand country. In fact, we are supplying much of our own demand. Every year between 1.6 and 2.8 million children run away annually in the U.S., half of those runaways are girls.  Within 48 hours of hitting the streets, one third of these children are lured or recruited into the underground world of prostitution or pornography. The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14. For boys, the entry age is 11-13. These kids are victims of human trafficking and each and every one is somebody’s child.

We glamorize pimp culture in music, on TV and at the movies. We create pimp celebrities and legitimize them in mainstream media. We photograph pimps at Players Balls and marvel at their ostentatious displays of wealth when we should be putting them in prison. Pimp-controlled commercial sexual exploitation of children is linked to escort and massage services, private dancing, drink and photographic clubs, major sporting and recreational events, major cultural events, conventions and tourist destination.

At the same time we criminalize kids who find themselves under the control of pimps. These kids are often portrayed as criminals, drug addled crack whores who are incarcerated rather than assisted once law enforcement brings them in off of the street. These kids are not criminals, they are victims. Many of them are missing. Many, but not all have run away or are throwaway children.

It is not so “Hard Out There for a Pimp”. Pimps are human traffickers and should be prosecuted as such. Under the Alabamians for Sexual Exploitation Act pimps will be prosecuted, imprisoned and forced to register as sex offenders. They will pay fines that will fund victim services for the children they have exploited.
But wait, there’s more. Sex offender registration and community notification, otherwise known as Megan’s Law was adopted by all 50-states in the late 90’s. Megan’s Law is based on the premise that convicted sex offenders pose a threat to society and that the public deserves to know when they are in the community. When Megan’s Law was enacted the Internet was not the ubiquitous presence that it is today. The Alabamians Against Sexual Exploitation Act will also allow Alabama to bridge Megan’s Law into the 21st Century.

We know who the registered sex offenders are in our neighborhoods and towns, but not in our virtual, online communities. The Alabamians Against Sexual Exploitation Act requires registered sex offenders to provide Internet email addresses, social networking profiles and other online identifiers so that social networking sites can scour relevant profiles from their online communities.

The concept of convicted sex offenders including their Internet identifiers as a component of the sex offender registration process was successfully legislated in New York in 2008 and has thus far been responsible for removing more than 24,000 sex offender profiles from social networking sites.

I urge the members of the committee to vote YES on The Alabamians Against Sexual Exploitation Act.”


An Act of Moral Cowardice


Petaluma’s Polly Klaas Foundation was honored by the US Dept. of Justice this week, being named the 2011 Missing Children Nonprofit of the year by the United States Department of Justice’ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

In Oct. 1993, Violet and I founded the Polly Klaas Foundation (PKF) to protect ourselves from potential speculation that we would misappropriate money donated to help find Polly, who had been kidnapped on Oct. 1. Upon learning of Polly’s tragic death on Dec. 4, it was our intention to lobby for laws that would protect children, use the remaining $283,000 to help find other missing children, and continue fundraising. On October 21, 1994, without my knowledge or permission, the PKF board of directors secured a trademark for the name Polly Klaas. In November 1994, in an act of stunning moral cowardice, the board of directors of the PKF voted me off the board during a secret meeting that I was not privy to. When they informed me via telephone I felt as if I had lost my daughter yet again. Violet and I were no longer welcome at the Foundation that we had created and hoped would become Polly’s legacy.

In September, 1994 several events foretold our rocky path and lonely crusade. On the 13th I stood on the podium with President Clinton on the White House south lawn when he signed The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The President gave me the first pen that he used to sign the bill. Among other things the Crime Bill provided for 100,000 new cops, allocated $6.1-billion in prevention funds for at risk children, and nearly $10-billion for prison construction costs.

Days later the board of directors informed me that I would no longer be allowed to pursue criminal justice legislation, arguing that a non-profit organization is prohibited from advocating for new laws. They knew that this was not true and continued supporting and promoting legislation long after they gave me the boot.

Before the month was out I had submitted a separate non-profit application to create the KlaasKids Foundation, from which to lobby, advocate and promote legislation. The PKF board said that I had created a conflict of interest by finding an avenue that would allow me to pursue goals that they forbade me from pursuing. This became the justification for kicking me out of the Polly Klaas Foundation. Ironically, one of the stated goals on the Polly Klaas Foundation’s current mission statement is to effect legislation which, “Will ensure that children can be safe in their own homes and communities.”

When Violet and I were shown the door we had $2,000, a fledgling non-profit that would become the KlaasKids Foundation and sense of urgency. We believed that there was no time to lose, because otherwise everyone would forget. We struggled. She worked a regular job, I volunteered my time. We lived frugally, turning our home into an office, with a small loft devoted to personal space. We worked 18-hour days writing, advocating, traveling and otherwise pursuing our window of opportunity. Fortunately, our voice was being heard on television, radio, in the op-ed pages of newspapers and at KlaasKids events throughout the country.

As KlaasKids built a solid reputation for action and accomplishment the PKF struggled. With just a few months of operating expenses left in their account, they launched a high profile car donation program. For the next several years a confused public donated millions of dollars worth of vehicles as the PKF produced minimal results.

How do I know this to be true? Because over the past two days many people, even some that I have known for years, congratulated me for the OJJDP recognition as the 2011 Missing Children Nonprofit of the year. 


The KlaasKids Foundation may not have won any awards, but I will stack our accomplishments up against any other missing children’s NPO. Below I have outlined some of KlaasKids 2010 accomplishments. I have left off our Print-A-Thon programs and the tens of thousands of free Child ID Kits that we distribute throughout the year.

·        KlaasKids offers multiple levels of support for the missing and their families. From grassroots search-and-rescue assistance, to human trafficking intervention; from legislative support to providing experts to the media, KlaasKids remains at the forefront of safety innovation and proactive advocacy.
  • In 2010, KlaasKids’ search and rescue efforts provided assistance in 86 cases. Our search center has also played an active role in 33 missing person/trafficking cases. Of those, eight out of nine children were rescued from human trafficking. In the other 25 cases, nine were safely located, four were recovered, and 12 remain missing.
  • KlaasKids actively advocated for California’s Chelsea’s Law, which increases prison time, prohibits sex offenders from entering parks frequented by children, and increases use of trackable GPS devices to monitor paroled offenders.
  • We also supported California laws AB 33, which requires law enforcement to establish written procedures on how to handle missing child cases;
  • AB 34, which will reduce the time to notify the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and California’s Violent Crime Information Center (VCIC) from four hours to two;
  • AB 1022, which establishes a position in the Department of Justice for a new director to oversee missing children recovery processes.
  • KlaasKids also continues to work with the Flying J chain of truck stops to bring a broadcast quality suite of television options to America’s 2,000,000-plus long haul truck drivers, so that they can become an army of first responders whenever a televised Amber Alert is issued in the United States. 
  • In September, KlaasKids initiated a lawsuit against California’s Department of Mental Health (DMH) for releasing tens of thousands of potential sexually violent predators in violation of Jessica’s Law, which was passed in 2006 Jessica’s Law mandates that, prior to release from prison, violent sex offenders who meet certain offense criteria be evaluated in person by two expert psychiatrists or psychologists. If the experts agree that the prisoner is a violent sexual predator with a high risk of reoffending, they must be referred to the District Attorney for civil commitment proceedings. However, in many cases since 2007, the DMH has provided only a cursory “paper screening,” or records review, of potential predators by only one mental health professional in lieu of an expert panel in-person evaluation.
  • On the proactive front, KlaasKids long-standing relationship with Fight Crime: Invest in Kids has paid great dividends. As you will read in this edition, the California branch of this national non-profit organization, led by more than 400 police chiefs, sheriffs, district attorneys, and crime survivors, has ensured that California is the nation’s leader in supporting after-school programs.