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April 26, 2007

First federal sentence for sex offender failing to register

Corey Yung of the great blog Sex Crimes altered me to the fact that, today in Florida, Wilfred Madera became the first sex offender to be sentenced in federal court for failure to register under the Adam Walsh Act.  The news account of the sentencing is here, and Yung's post about it is here.  As this snippet from the news accoutn highlights, this case is likely to continue to make headlines:

With no precedent to rely on, an Orlando federal judge on Wednesday declined to send a New York sex offender to prison under a tough new law that punishes those who fail to register when they move across state lines.  Following through on comments he made at Wilfredo Madera's plea hearing three months ago, Senior U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp sentenced him to four years of probation and fined him $500. 

At a Jan. 11 hearing before Madera pleaded guilty as part of a deal with prosecutors, Sharp said he was inclined to dismiss the case or give Madera no prison time.  Sharp, at the time, criticized the government's case and told Madera he would throw out the case if the felon registered the next day. But an exasperated prosecutor reminded Sharp that he had "no legal standing" to do that and the judge reversed himself, acknowledging his error.  He then called the law "constitutional" as written and denied a defense request to dismiss the case.

Madera, who was arrested in October as part of a nationwide crackdown on sex offenders by the U.S. Marshals Service, was the first person in the nation to be convicted under the Adam Walsh Child Protection Act.  On Wednesday, he became the first to be sentenced under that law.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Hawkins immediately protested Sharp's sentence and said her office will likely take the case to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.  "The government will object to the sentence imposed as being unreasonable and not taking into account the seriousness of the offense and specifically the defendant's past criminal history," Hawkins told Sharp.  Hawkins said a pre-sentence report prepared by the federal probation office showed Madera could have received 24 to 30 months in prison.

April 26, 2007 at 09:16 PM | Permalink

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Comments

To all the people who dream up these unconstitutional and inhuman laws. You reap what you sew. Look at all the mess we are in now? The summer of 2008. These are signs of a repressive government reaping it's over due for payment of a bill it owes; for the lives it has ruin. Ruined by leaning on a prison system to solve it's problems. Instead of good old fashioned neighborly kindness. This is what our great nation of America; was founded on.

http://joedorkmadein1999.20m.com/

Posted by: joe dork | Jul 14, 2008 9:48:43 AM

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