Jul
27

Who Killed Jessica Lunsford?

I ought to be grateful that Fox News even hosted a debate. Normally, the mere mention of the topic has folks running for the doors. Acknowledging that the issues are complex is progress. When it comes to reform of sex offender legislation, there is too often too little time given to debate. So thank you to Fox News for the four minutes devoted to the topic on Monday's "Fox and Friends." It was a good first step.

The discussion pitted the father of a child abducted and killed by a sex offender against a man convicted of the possession of child pornography. On the one side, the inconsolable rage of a victim's family; on the other, a demon man who had never hurt anyone so much as himself. It was a debate pitting two forms of pain against one another. But tell me, Fox? Did you really expect meaningful public policy debate by offering a seat on the forum to a man undone by his tragic sorrow?
Mark Lunsford, Jessica's father, plead from his heart. He told viewers that no one in the history of the mankind had ever been reformed by sex offender treatment. This is, of course, categorical nonsense. Liberally translated his statement comes down to this: Nothing we do will ever bring his daughter Jessica back to us. His is the infinite sorrow of a man whose loss can never be made good. Jessica was murdered in 2005 at the age of nine by a violent sexual predator.
Of course, Mr. Lunsford was unaware of the numerous studies, including one by Human Rights Watch, that find America's amalgam of sex offender laws to be little more than an obscene mockery of justice. We've created a body of law devoted to combating stranger danger. Never again, we hope, will a stranger abduct and kill a child, we utter. But the sad fact remains that we know there will be other abductions. The human psyche is perverse, and we cannot police desire at the very same time we appeal to sex to sell everything from toothpaste to cars. The laws passed in the wake of Jessica's murder requiring ramped up sex offender registration and harsher treatment of a sex offenders of all types satisfy the need to act, but do so at the cost of social justice.
Debating against Mr. Lunsford was Kelly Pierce of Georgians for Sex Reform, an affiliate of the National Reform Sex Offenders Laws. Mr. Pierce was convicted of looking at child pornography. He is therefore a sex offender. But he is not a violent sexual predator. When Mr. Pierce referred to such things as the low recidivism rate among non-violent offenders, Mr. Lunsford looked surprised. Rarely do advocates for tougher sex offender laws let facts get in the way of their demand for more draconian laws.
Georgia has been a hotbed of reform energy, with recent successes in chipping at away at the perimeter of over-inclusive registration requirements. Central to the arguments for reform in Georgia has been the argument that too broad and aggressive a set of sex offender laws actually harms children. It does so first simply by failing to draw meaningful distinctions between violent and non-violent offenders. It simply makes no sense to require everyone who has colored outside the proscribed libidinal lines in any way whatsoever to register as an offender: this overtaxes law enforcement, which then loses track of the truly violent. Similarly, draconian residency restrictions force offenders of all sorts into tiny ghettos where the lack of meaningful residential and employment opportunities yields the very stressors than undermine efforts at rehabilitation.
Mr. Lunsford was not deaf to these arguments, but he urged litigation to correct these problems. The courts are a hollow hope when it comes to reform of sex offender legislation. Judges run scared far too often of the rage of lawmakers. Effective reform must begin in legislative assemblies. Those affected by sex offender laws need to appear before lawmakers to tell their stories. I know this is difficult and there deal of fear among those who have been victimized by these laws. But lawmakers need to see the faces of those they are stigmatizing with insufficient reason.
So a word of thanks to Kelly Pierce for a heroic performance on Fox News. As everyone with any sense, Mr. Pierce did not kill Jessica Lunsford. A criminal justice system that chooses willful blindness to this is hardly worthy of support. We need more and better debates in the national news media about the harm our sex offender laws is doing to too many Americans, Americans like Kelly Pierce.
Comments (15)
Posted on August 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm by Anonymous
Don't let that separate you from Christ, our Lord ...
Don't let that separate you from Christ, our Lord and Savior, He has nothing to do with that kind of christianity or hypocrisy!

Posted on July 31, 2010 at 6:18 am by Spread The Word Florida
My wife and I attend a family night for a VBS even...
My wife and I attend a family night for a VBS event that my child went to this past week. This church WAS our church home until both my wife and I decided not to go back. As you may have guessed, we left because we were not wanted there.

My wife and I returned last night and were snubbed by well over half of the people we used to associate with. They loved us until they found out I was on the registry. That fact was leaked by the children's pastor at a Sunday School meeting one night. Before then we were loved unconditionally. Not all share their same feelings, but it takes it's toll on a person none the less.

Christians have a responsibility to love the unloveable. This is part of the new command Jesus left us. I have to ask. Why do the Christians treat us they way they do.

If all of you look at the legislation getting passed and ask where it's always coming from, you have to look no further than the Righteous Right supported by those same Christians who claim God and his Word. Talk about hypocrisy.

Posted on July 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm by karla
Gosh everyone this is good! Keep on telling it! ...
Gosh everyone this is good! Keep on telling it! Thank God!! Hugs to all of you! I feel like I want to just paste these stories everywhere. I want change! You hear me Obama CHANGE!!! :)

A Proud Mom of a Proposed Teen Sex Offender

Posted on July 28, 2010 at 8:14 am by Once Fallen
Mark Lunsford never ceases to amaze me by his vast...
Mark Lunsford never ceases to amaze me by his vast displays of stupidity. He and John Walsh are the two biggest con artists exploiting their childrens' deaths today. Both make millions exploiting tragedy for profit. If you don't believe me, there are a ton of regular news stories out there about them.

John Walsh:

1. Tells people never hire a male babysitter because they're all potential pedophiles. John Walsh is a male so DON'T TRUST HIMAROUND YOUR KIDS!
2. Walsh had admitted on Larry King Live he was a sex addict and waited years to seek treatment. I would not trust him around my wife.
3. John Walsh had talked about exploding rectum chips in sex offenders. I wouldn't trust him around sex offenders.
4. Walsh has lied before Congress with inflated statistics and lines like "this country is littered with mutilated, decapitated, raped, and strangled children." I would not trust John Walsh around my legislators.

Mark Lunsford
1. His son got faced a felony sex charged, but Lunsford bragged to people after a Congressional hearing he threatened the DA in his son's case to get him off o he would expose times the DA got a light sentence for a sex offense case. Thus his son got 10 days and no registry. You cannot trust Mark Lunsford around a DA.
2. Lunsford sued the very sheriff's department responsible for solving the case, claiming negligence. He only stopped the suit under immense public pressure. I would not trust him around cops.
3. Lunsford was accused of having kiddie porn on his computer. Then the case files disappeared from the internet. A cover-up? Can't trust him with the internet.
4. Multiple stories abound about mismanagement of the Jessica Lunsford Foundation funds, and now we works with former drug-runner and data-miner Hank Asher, a man who sells YOUR personal info to the highest bidder. You can't trust Lunsford with YOUR money!

I stand by every statement.

http://www.oncefallen.com/

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 9:15 pm by falseaccuser
http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com
Don't forge...
http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com

Don't forget what others have mentioned, Marks own son Joshua, molested a child and got 10 days in jail and is NOT on the registry. Why not?

http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2007/07/lunsfords-son-gets-10-day-jail-sentence.html

Also, what about the child porn on Marks machine at the time Jessica went missing?

http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2007/03/couey-trial.html

Mark just repeats the same old lies he's heard from others. Maybe he should check out the MANY studies which prove he doesn't know what he's talking about, here:

http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/p/recidivism-studies.html

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 9:03 pm by Anonymous
I don' t think that I would have been as easy
on M...
I don' t think that I would have been as easy
on Mark Lunsford as Kelly Pierce was. It is
tragic that he lost a daughter to a sick man
like Couey, but if he had been paying more
attention to his daughter maybe John Couey
would not have abducted his daughter. I am
appalled that he was able to get his son off
with not being registered or being charged with
anything, simply by raising a big fuss. I cried
and pled for my son in front of the judge and
I would have gotten on my knees and begged for
him, if I thought that it would have done any
good. Katie_did

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 4:46 pm by Anonymous
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5c6_1237801171
OH -...
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5c6_1237801171
OH - Mark Lunsfords son, gets a slap on the wrist for molesting a child

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 2:25 pm by Anonymous
I totally agree that the sex-offender registry is ...
I totally agree that the sex-offender registry is a total failure. It does more harm than good. I am happy that Fox has agreed to air the debate between Mark Lunsford and Mr. Piercy. It is a first step in making the public aware of the injustice of this system.

It still amazes me that, in this country, we take a group of people who have done something wrong, and put them on a list where,regardless of the severity of their crime,they are treated like lepers.

How can we put people like Mr. Piercy or others who were viewing child pornography, on the same level as murderers, rapists, or child molesters?

I don't get it.

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm by Missouri RSOL
Kelly Piercy was ready with facts and data regardi...
Kelly Piercy was ready with facts and data regarding the current sex offender laws and the much needed reform of these laws. Unfortunately, Fox News did not give him the opportunity to bring this issue of reform to light. The registry, which Mark Lunsford so eagerly supports is full of non violent and often, non contact " sex crimes." The current registered sex offenders are not as lucky as Joshua Lunsford. His Romeo and Juliet crime was reduced to a misdemeanor - keeping him off the registry. But the point here is not to put more people on a registry that does not work. The point is, no one should be above the law. Until the laws are reformed and the public registry abolished, ALL people should be required to follow the law.
Thank you Fox News for airing this story on your network. That alone, gives me hope.

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm by Missouri RSOL
Kelly Piercy was ready with facts and data regardi...
Kelly Piercy was ready with facts and data regarding the current sex offender laws and the much needed reform of these laws. Unfortunately, Fox News did not give him the opportunity to bring this issue of reform to light. The registry, which Mark Lunsford so eagerly supports is full of non violent and often, non contact " sex crimes." The current registered sex offenders are not as lucky as Joshua Lunsford. His Romeo and Juliet crime was reduced to a misdemeanor - keeping him off the registry. But the point here is not to put more people on a registry that does not work. The point is, no one should be above the law. Until the laws are reformed and the public registry abolished, ALL people should be required to follow the law.
Thank you Fox News for airing this story on your network. That alone, gives me hope.

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 1:56 pm by karla
VDOG you couldn't have said it any better! I agre...
VDOG you couldn't have said it any better! I agree so much with what you have to say! I also believe Mr. Lundsford is thriving on the publicity he is obtaining by the very death of his own daughter, Jessica Lundsford. Mr. Lundsford is trying to pull planks out of other peoples eyes when clearly he needs to remove the plank that is huge from his own eye, FIRST!

I would love for Fox to do a story on non-violent Sex Offenders so the world can see how horrific their lives are affected or the lives of the children they have that they are not allowed to have contact with. Who is doing the real suffering here?

I am a Proud Mom of a Proposed Teen Sex Offender and if I knew where to start on telling our story, I would. More need to put on their shield and brave this hardened world to tell their story and how their lives are affected by these haneous laws. Not all offenders are like Jessica Lundsford Predator.

Kelly Pierce-man way to go guy!! Thumbs up to you and a great big pat on the back! And, Fox thank you for the time given to him.

A Proud Mom of a Proposed Teen Sex Offender

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm by karla
VDOG!! You could not have said it any better!! I...
VDOG!! You could not have said it any better!! I love it! I agree with you so very much! Mr. Lundsford, I agree, is gaining notoriety through the death of his very own child, Jessica, and loving it. He in fact is hardened at heart, narrow minded and trying to pull "planks" out of other peoples eyes yet not clearing seeing due to the "plank" in his very own eye.

I, too, would LOVE to see Fox do a special on those that are labled "Sex Offenders" that do not fall into the same category as Jessica Lundsford's predator to see how horrific the effects are on their lives. It needs to be made public and more need to step forward with bravery and have true justice towards these haneous laws for non violent Sex Offenders. I will if I knew where to start!

Hats off to you Kelly Pierce!!!!!

A Proud Mom of a Proposed Teen Sex Offender

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm by Ca Romeo and Juliet Law
Excellent article here!
I too, felt frustration ...
Excellent article here!

I too, felt frustration and even anger at the hypocritical stance of Mr. Lunsford. For those of us fighting for our sons who have been charged in cases that would fall under the "Romeo and Juliet" Law, these SO laws are hard enough to deal with...but add to it the knowledge that those who helped to create them, are able to apply them at their own discretion when it comes to their own family members is TOO MUCH! This kind of behavior is intolerable, how much longer will our country sit idly by and pander to, or excuse those who believe to be beyond the reach of the law? Especially in such an emotion-fueled battle as this.

Kudos to Mr. Piercy for his tact and composure.

caforromeoandjulietlaw

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 12:27 pm by adamwalshact
My hat goes off to FOX for bringing to the light t...
My hat goes off to FOX for bringing to the light the horrible insanity which is the present Sex Offender Laws.

A few questions of my own. Why would Fox News use a person who is documented as having child porn on his computer, Mark Lunsford for a spokesman in support of harsher sex offender laws?
Why would Fox News use a person who, when his own child was caught, Joshua, being an adult, in sexual relations with a 14 year old girl.. went up to that state and threatened those in charge of the case.. until his son, who falls under the very same laws Mr. Lunsford is pushing for, would be on the registry.. but Mr.Lunsford got his son off the registry...Why do those pushing for these laws always get their children to be exempt from those same laws.

When will Fox News do a story on Mark Lunsford, Huge Hypocrite!
Citizens for Change, America ON the web.

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 7:11 am by VDog
Kelly did an amazing job considering the format. F...
Kelly did an amazing job considering the format. Fox of course disclosed Kelly's crime, conviction etc. I was curious why they failed to point out Mr. Lunsford's history with porn, since on the morning of his daughter's abduction; police found he had been viewing, but not downloading or saving porn. Kudos to Mr. Piercy for NOT pointing this out and taking the high road!

Next, Mr. Lunsford suggested that no one should be removed from the registry because their crime may have been pleaded down to a lower level. Again curious since Mr. Lunsford's own son at 18 yrs. old, was charged with 2 felony counts for his witnessed sexual relations with his then 14 yr. old girl friend. These charges were plead down under dubious conditions to misdemeanor charges to avoid the registry Mr. Lunsford so strongly champions! Again, Mr. Piercy took the high road and did not ask why Mr. Lunsford’s son was not required to register.

Mr. Lunsford also suggests, as you point out, that rehabilitation was not possible. Research, facts and logic be damned, why should he do any research and educate himself when emotions can rule the day. Again Mr. Piercy took the high road and did not ask Mr. Lunsford if this meant that he was still looking at porn on his computer or if his son was still having sexual relations with 14 yr. olds.

My point is this, just like the politicians who are pandering to the hysterical and misinformed public to pass unconstitutional and immoral laws to get elected, there are those who seek to profit and gain media attention through emotions rather than logic, facts and reason. Mr. Lunsford and Mr. Walsh have both profited greatly, and gained notoriety through the exploitation of their daughters tragic misfortunes and deaths. They have done it on the backs of thousands who have paid their debt, and the hundreds of thousands family members, children and friends of those on the registry. They have done this with complete disregard of the facts, unimpeachable research and studies, logic or reason. They have completely ignored the fact that it has been proven these laws actually create a greater risk to everyone else's children. I personally find this disgusting and disturbing, especially since people such as Mr. Piercy continue to take the high road in spite of the personal attacks and injustices played upon them. Who is the real villain here?

While the desire and goal to save even one child from harm is most laudable, to do so by recklessly endangering the safety and lives of thousands of children, families, friends and fellow neighbors and co-workers does not seem a viable, or reasonable solution...at least not to me. VDog
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About Norm Pattis

Norm Pattis is a Connecticut based trial lawyer focused on high stakes criminal cases and civil right violations. He is a veteran of more than 100 jury trials, many resulting in acquittals for people charged with serious crimes, multi-million dollar civil rights and discrimination verdicts, and scores of cases favorably settled.

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