Monthly Archives: March 2012

Dating Sites to Screen for Sex Offenders

Three major online dating sites announced they will begin to screen their site’s members for registered sex offenders, according to MSN.com. Match.com, eHarmony and Spark Networks decided to take the precautionary step after a woman was assaulted on a date, according to California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. “Consumers should be able to use websites without the fear of being scammed or targeted,” said Harris. The sites will begin to check their members against sex offender registries as well as provide the attorney general’s office with evidence of suspicious behavior. Match.com is based in Dallas. An estimated 40 million Americans belong to a dating site and spend more than $1 billion annually. The woman who was assaulted in 2010 sued Match.com, where she met her attacker. The court ordered that the site had to begin to check their membership to see if any were sex offenders. Do you think this…
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Dallas District Attorney Advocates Death Penalty Reform

One Dallas County prosecutor is urging legislators to review death penalty procedures to ensure that people are not wrongfully executed, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Craig Watkins has been a district attorney since 2007. He has garnered national attention in his efforts to reform the procedure. His great-grandfather was executed in Texas nearly 80 years ago. “I think the reforms we’ve made in our criminal justice system are better than any other state in this country,” Watkins told the Associated Press. “But we still need reforms. And so, I don’t know if I’m the voice for that, I just know, here I am, and I have these experiences.” Since 2009, Texas executed 55 death row inmates. Last year 13 were put to death—the lowest number in the last 15 years. Twelve men have been released from death row since 1973. Watkins—the first African-American district attorney in Texas—has sought the…
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Detroit to Reexamine Rape Kits

Thanks to recent funding from private interest groups, rape kits back-logged and sitting untested in Detroit are finally being tested from cases as long as twenty years old, according to sources. DNA is usually tested instantly following a homicide, but for rapes and sexual assault, the process does not move as quickly. Some estimates state there are between 180,000 and 400,000 rape kits awaiting testing in the United States. The National Institute for Justice is assisting local law enforcement in Detroit with efforts to analyze the kits. With many of the kits, the statute of limitations has expired and the suspects can no longer be charged. But according to the Associated Press, reopening the cases is not usually welcomed by the victims—especially when nothing can be done about the attack any more. “[My rape kit] was very impersonal,” says Helena Lazaro, who as attacked 15 years ago at a car…
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