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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 89362
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My son in law was released on parole after serving 85% of

Customer Question

My son in law was released on parole after serving 85% of five year sentence for sexual assault with force. He claimed innocence and we filed a post conviction petition on his behalf, which is before the Appealant Court right now. When he was released, he was mandated to take sex offender classes but they wanted him to sign papers taking responsibility for the offense, which he refused to do. Parole was told he had an active P.C.P. and even if he wanted to sign the papers just to avoid violating, he couldn't. Parole could care less. He was kicked out of the class for not signing and re-arrested. He is now in Big Muddy River waiting for a parole hearing and since his parole is set at 3 years to life, he's scared to death. The attorney for the P.C.P.is not familiar with parole and I thought I better find someone who is.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

You do realize that we cannot provide actual representation of anyone from this site as it is forbidden by the rules and terms of this service?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I understand that but ultimately he needs representation or needs to know what to cite himself when he goes before the parole review board.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Excuse me, but are you asking for more information?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
I would like an answer from a criminal law attorney who understands the parole review board process.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your response and understanding.

I am afraid that he is going to have to argue his Due Process rights under the 5th Amendment which protect him from self incrimination while his case is actively on appeal for the very issues that he is being asked to forcibly sign admitting to. Due Process under the 5th Amendment protects him from self incrimination while at the same time protesting his innocence and his right to due process in the appeals process.

In front of the parole board he would argue that United States Constitution and article I, section 10, of the Illinois Constitution (U.S. Const., amend. V; Ill. Const.1970, art. I, § 10), and (b) his due process rights under the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution and article I, section 2, of the Illinois Constitution (U.S. Const., amend. V; Ill. Const.1970, art. I, § 2). The court In People v. Martin, 226 Ill.App.3d 753, 168 Ill.Dec. 415, 589 N.E.2d 815 (1992), the court addressed whether the defendant's fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination was violated when the State called him to testify at his probation revocation hearing. Relying on Minnesota v. Murphy, 465 U.S. 420, 104 S.Ct. 1136, 79 L.Ed.2d 409 (1984), Allen v. Illinois, 478 U.S. 364, 106 S.Ct. 2988, 92 L.Ed.2d 296 (1986), People v. Davis, 216 Ill.App.3d 884, 159 Ill.Dec. 841, 576 N.E.2d 510 (1991), and Professor LaFave (3 W. LaFave & J. Israel, Criminal Procedure § 25.4, at 164 (1984)). The court held that a defendant's fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination was not violated by the State's calling him to testify at his probation revocation hearing "to elicit testimony which would show that the defendant had violated conditions of his probation but which would not incriminate him in any other proceedings." Martin, 226 Ill. App.3d at 759, 168 Ill.Dec. 415, 589 N.E.2d at 818. However in your son's case, he would be compelled to admit he did not sign the admission of guilt, but it would be a violation of his due process right to force him to admit guilt while his appeal is pending.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My question is why should he plead the fifth when defending why he refused to sign the sex offender class papers where he would have had to admit guilt to the crime, which from the beginning he stated he did not do. It was his word against the 'victim's', who was a 21 year old mentally challenged cousin. She stated that though he was drunk, he wanted to have intercourse with her but was unable to 'do it' so he inserted his finger inside her 'for five minutes'. She stated he held her down on the couch, though she testified that just minutes earlier, he was so drunk he was unable to walk straight. The Judge, who stated from the bench that she had been sexually molested as a teenager (and refused to recuse herself), decided that a girl with the mentality of a thirteen year old (according to her) would not make up such a story.


Now, he served the time and was released to parole, but parole knew beforehand that he had the post conviction petition before the appealant court, knowing he couldn't sign any papers admitting guilt or the P.C.P. would be nullified. As it is, the question remains, why does parole or any other office have the right to try to force someone to admit guilt when they refuse to do so. They are telling him now that unless he admits his guilt, they will keep him in prison until he does. How is this legal?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

According to the court rulings in IL, he is pleading the 5th Amendment only with regards XXXXX XXXXX contents of the admission itself, for which he is currently pursuing his due process rights. He cannot be made to admit something he is claiming he did not do, which is the point of the court cases above, but the court stated he could be compelled to admit only that he did not sign and he would give the good cause reason that he did not sign because he was in fact not guilty and was not going to admit to what he did not do. They do not have the right to force someone who was not properly convicted and completed the appeals process to admit to guilt. The parole board, since parole is a privilege, can make someone admit to guilt once their case is completed and appeals are done in order to gain the privilege of parole in lieu of serving 100% of their time or to complete the sex offender program on release because their due process rights have been exhausted (your son in law's due process rights have not been exhausted because of the current appeal).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that information, Paul. The question remains, was it legal for parole to violate his parole because he refused to sign the papers, though they knew in advance of being paroled that he had the P,C.P. in the Appealant Court? Since they knew his due process of law hadn't been exhausted, why did they try to force him to sign the papers then violate him for not doing so...knowing he couldn't or it would nullify the PCP?


 


If he must serve more time, can he legally be held only be held until he finishes the other 15% or can they keep him there for parole term, which is three years to life?


 


Regardless of what happens at the hearing, If he is kept for the three years, or even the 15%, unless the PCP is finished and answered, will be released under the same mandates? (Of having to take the sex offender classes and be forced to admit to his guilt or go back to prison again...and again...and again?)


 


Even if the PCP is denied, why is it that parole has the right to try to force him to admit to guilt?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it is legal for them to "seek" to violate his parole and then hold a hearing before the board to determine whether or not to actually violate his parole as he did not complete the sex offender program that was a condition of his parole. While this has something to do with his refusal to sign the form, this all needs to be presented to the parole board and argued that his case is still on appeal and he denies guilt and therefore cannot be compelled to sign any form stating he is guilty.

I am afraid that if he completes the entire time and is released these sex offender requirements never go away and he will be made to take the class as condition of his release and they can actually hold him until he does successfully complete the class which means signing the admission of guilt. Sex offenders are really the only non-life offenders where their sentence really can end up being a life sentence. The ACLU in IL has fought this, but so far to no avail as the IL courts have held sex offender registration and classes are not punishment they are administrative in nature.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


These are great answers, but I wonder still why parole can force him to admit guilt or serve life in prison. Just because a Judge determined he was guilty- does that make him guilty? Even if the appeals fall through, does that make him guilty? What is the law that says parole can keep him in prison until he signs papers admitting to guilt? If the classes are not further punishment, why are they terms of his release? What does it mean that the classes are administrative in nature?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
If he was convicted of his crime and all of his appeals are exhausted, then he is considered guilty, which is why they can force him to take responsibility and admit guilt. This is not your son in law's case here because there is an appeal pending. If he should lose his appeal and his case is over and there are no more appeal rights, then legally he is guilty and that is where the parole board can force him to admit the guilt in the program.

The courts just hold that the sex offender classes and registration are not punishment, this is why they can even apply them retroactively to people previously convicted of sex offenders. The law states that before he can be released as a sex offender he must comply with the sex offender classes, failure to do so is a contempt of court charge which is what they can hold him in jail on until he complies.

The courts hold that there is a compelling governmental interest in protecting society from sex offenders and it is under this principle that they enact these registration and therapy class laws.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 89362
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Law Educator, Esq. and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Paul, you really helped me understand what is happening with my son-in-law during this horrible time, but neither of us understand how anyone, sex offender or not, can be forced to admit to guilt when they didn't do the crime. After all, we don't live in Soviet Russia. Don't accused sex offenders still have constitutional rights? How can they keep someone in prison for life (!!!) when his crime is supposedly that while drunk and stoned on crack, he put his finger in a girl, who was also drunk and stoned on crack, for five minutes? Why is it that all accused sex offenders are treated like a one size fits all crime, unlike murder that has several degrees? I'm asking these questions to try to help Aaron as best I can.


 


 


 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

Once he is convicted and his appeals are over he is considered guilty regardless of what he believes and it is on that basis the offender programs force them to come to terms with the fact they were adjudicated guilty and have no further way to appeal, so under the eyes of the law they are considered guilty no matter what they may continue to protest about being innocent.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I know what you're saying but HOW is this legal in America? How is he supposed to go through a sex offender class and pretend that he's sorry for something he didn't do? It's crazy!


If someone accused of murder runs out of appeals, why isn't he forced to admit guilt?


Why is this legal only for people accused of a sex offense?


This is so wrong. In the last six months I've talked to countless people who have been or have had a child, brother or friend accused of sexual assault and their lives have been horrendous.


Can you give me any ideas of what I need to do or who I need to talk to start an inquiry about this?


 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

I am presuming that is a rhetorical question, because attorneys for the ACLU and other groups that have been fighting for the rights of sex offenders and those who have to endure lifetime registration and these classes.

The courts state the government has a compelling governmental interest in protecting society from sexual offenders such that they allow the government to abridge some rights of the sex offender to pursue that interest. As I said the ACLU keeps fighting it, but they have yet succeeded.

You can talk to your legislators, as they are the ones making those laws.

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