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Scarlet Letter Nation - The Sex Crime Registry

Updated on March 31, 2011

Are we a Scarlet Letter Nation? Do we love throwing stones at the people? Oh I think so! We love espousing that Gay people are immoral according to our cherished religious beliefs. We love telling women shame on you for having an abortion. Well maybe we are not that civilized after all. The whole concept of sex offender registration is appalling to me. You do not have to live long in this world to learn people have an insatiable appetite to punish and condemn and snob others. Pretty much we have not only legalized this phenomenon but required it under Federal statues requiring states to have sex offender registration laws.

Maybe you watch too much “Law and Order SVU”. Based on that show most sex criminals are guilty of rape of minors or worse. In reality, the vast majority of offenders victimize individuals who are known, related, or intimate to the victim. This is contrary to media depictions of stranger assaults or child molesters who kidnap children unknown to them. Thus, despite the public awareness of the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders, there has been no evidence shown that mandatory registration has made society safer.

Mind you, I am not being soft on punishment of sexual offenders, although that is sometimes beyond reason as well. I am saying when a person has paid their due and released from prison, it may be time to call it an end and let them get on with their life. A released sexual offender better have a lot of friends because getting a job is next to impossible even when no violence of any kind is involved. Neighbors will harass and be unduly alarmed. We have put the person in such a tight corner, living anything resembling a normal life is next to impossible. The sex offender lists even include people arrested for visiting prostitutes, underage teenagers who engaged in consensual sex with each other, and minors who emailed or texted nude photos of themselves to their friends. Do we really want to destroy their lives? Convicted sex offenders were murdered after their information was made available over the Internet.

The Jacob Wetterling Act is a United States law that requires states to implement a sex offender and crimes against children registry. It was enacted as part of the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. So Individual states decide what information will be made available and how it should be disseminated. Commonly included information includes the offender's name, picture, address, incarceration date, and nature of crime. The information is often displayed on free public websites, but can be published in newspapers, distributed in pamphlets, or through various other means. I am surprised there is not more outcry from the progressive community.

Patty Wetterling, the mother of Jacob Wetterling and a major proponent of the Jacob Wetterling Act, has openly criticized the evolution of sex offender registration and management laws in the United States since the Jacob Wetterling Act was passed, saying that the laws are often applied to too many offenses and that the severity of the laws often makes it difficult to rehabilitate offenders

Recently, Wetterling sent a scathing letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales demanding that Congress and the Justice Department fix the flaws that their over zealousness caused. Wetterling has found common ground with the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and joined them in declaring the Adam Walsh Act unconstitutional and contrary to public safety. On September 14, 2007, Wetterling reiterated her perception of the harm that current sex offender laws are causing

The typical recidivism rate statistics provided by the State of Michigan shows that an average of 3.5% (years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) of registered offenders re-offend. (A reoffense is defined as committing a similar offense, missing a parole or probation meeting, or by failing to re-register as is required 4 times a year.) The other 96.5% on average, for the years stated, are classified as first time offenders with no prior felonies or "sex"-related crimes on record.

What about this jerk? A chronic, calcified sexual sadist, Mr. Dodd stated in a court brief, "If I do escape, I promise you I will kill and rape again, and I will enjoy every minute of it."

This guy doesn’t need a sex offender list, he needs to be eliminated from society.

I know most of you think the list is a good thing. But it unnecessarily riles up a community against an individual and does little to protect that community. It can be a death sentence for the one time violator and at minimum prevent the violator from becoming a productive member of society. Family members of the listed offender are spit on and shunned. . When a person gets out the jail, they are told to find a place to live and a job.  The system then puts all its resources to work to insure that the person can't find a place to live and can't find a job.  Then it becomes his fault when he fails.

“He grabbed girl’s arm — now he’s a sex offender”

by Walter Olson on July 3, 2005

The judge agreed that 28-year-old Fitzroy Barnaby of Evanston, Ill. probably didn’t have any sexual intention when he grabbed a 14-year-old girl’s arm to chastise her (he says) for walking in front of his car. But unlawful restraint of a minor, the offense of which Barnaby was convicted, automatically qualifies as a sex offense under Illinois law. “Now, [Barnaby] will have to tell local police where he lives and won’t be able to live near a park or school.” “I don’t really see the purpose of registration in this case. I really don’t,” said Cook County judge Patrick Morse. “But I feel that I am constrained by the statute.” (Steve Patterson, Chicago Sun-Times, Jul. 1).

Saturday, December 4, 2010 The Legal Watchdog

Sex offender registries: They’re not just for sex offenders anymore

Our nation’s preoccupation with tracking sex offenders comes at a high cost. Between the fifty states and the federal government, we’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars on sex offender registries each year, in addition to the billions spent on incarceration and community supervision. However, these registries aren’t all they’re cracked-up to be, in part because they’re flooded with useless information. For each violent rapist, a registry may contain dozens of teenagers who had consensual sex with younger teens, and dozens of other teens who were convicted of “sexting,” urinating in public, or similar behavior. But, perhaps the biggest problem with sex offender registries is that they’re not just for sex-related crimes anymore.

In addition to dramatically expanding what constitutes a “sex crime,” many states have boldly crossed the line and require registration for crimes that aren’t remotely related to sex, pornography, or even public urination. An excellent example of this trend can be found in the Wisconsin case of State v. Smith, where Smith, a 17-year-old boy, made another 17-year-old boy go with him to collect a debt. Smith was convicted of felony false imprisonment for this behavior and, because his “prisoner” was a minor, the state forced Smith to register as a sex offender. (Smith, also 17-years-old, was not considered a minor. Wisconsin considers accused 17-year-olds to be adults.)

I recall myself grabbing a young boy to take to his mother to report his unruly behavior. The mother was more concerned with my grabbing her son then his obnoxious behavior and I had to go to court. Today I would be a sex offender! That boy eventually was sent to a military school because of his uncontrollable behavior..

If a person is so violent they cannot be returned to the community then keep them in prison. Get rid of the sex crime registry.


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