Monday, July 03, 2006

"Sex-offender law flawed and geared toward politics"

Sex-offender law flawed and geared toward politics

There are several provisions within the law that do more to put children at risk as well as attempt to provide a false sense of security. The public does not understand all the aspects of the Sex Offender Registry, and what is worse, 95 percent do not want to.

This is a highly charged topic and the media slant is parallel to public opinion of "Lock the child molesters away forever." The media does not give equal time to see the other side of the coin.

The most glaring problem with House Majority Leader Jerry Keen's proposed bill, now law, is treating every sex offender the same. There are three established levels of sex offenders within the state. The new rules apply equally to the accidental indecent exposure offender and the multiple child rapist. Who thinks justice is being served?

Keen and the majority of the House and Senate are just playing politics. What politician could vote against any bill that makes laws against sex offenders more restrictive? It would be political suicide to step up, be the voice of reason, and "defend" the rights of a sex offender. Even if you are attempting to limit the punitive effects of the law to the level 1 offenders, the press would jump all over it and report that House Rep. So-and-So is defending child molesters.

The part in the law about putting all sex offenders on the registry for life does nothing more than make the registry a joke in a few years time. The crimes that are added daily to what constitutes a sex-offender registry requirement will dilute the registry so much that it will be meaningless in monitoring the ones it was created for: rapists and re-offenders.

Many Georgia lawmakers admit that the law was not meant to have the effect Keen has voiced, and if they could, they would vote against it now. What is needed is the education of parents and children. A good parent can do more to prevent a sex offense against their child than all the laws in the state. But like so many other things, parents no longer seem to be responsible for, the state has to attempt to be a surrogate parent through legislation.

The law needs to be repealed and introduced next session. A new bill should be written with the advice of probation officers, sheriffs, sex offender counselors and maybe even an offender or two.

The most important part of any legislation is to protect without harm. It could be done but not with zealots like Keen trying to make a name for himself by trampling on the Constitution.

What can be done? Very little, as public opinion would strip sex offenders of all their rights. Many have said it is going to get worse before it gets better, and that trend seems to be happening all over the country. It will not be long before this witch hunt tries to round all the sex offenders up and ship them off to some island somewhere.

Oh wait, England did that with Australia. Maybe we could ship them all off somewhere and keep an eye on them. No, Wait, Hitler did that with the Jews.

As you can see, history will not judge these actions well.

John Shaw

Buford

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