Friday, July 06, 2007

ALABAMA VOICES: Emotion makes bad laws

It seems one has to be close to the issue in order to see the reality. Cindy, dear, you're speaking to a deaf audience.

ALABAMA VOICES: Emotion makes bad laws

By Cindy Blair

In my opinion and in the opinion of sex offenders who have been convicted of a sex offense in Alabama, the sex offender notification law is a violation of their constitutional rights, as well as their human rights.

Once a person serves his or her time, pays their debt to society, he or she should be able to live a productive, honest and free life unless he or she breaks the law again. The sex offenders notification law prevents this.

This law dictates where sex offenders can live and work. This actually destroys any chance of sex offenders being able to live a normal life. They cannot obtain gainful employment. It makes it next to impossible for a sex offender to find a place to live.

The lawmakers and courts say that this is not punishment, but it is. It also violates a ex-sex offender's basic human rights and constitutional rights. The sex offender notification act affects people whose crimes were 25 or 30 years ago. This is creating laws after the fact.

Two bills offered in the recent legislative session were trying to make it even harder for sex offenders to live. This legislation is trying to stop two sex offenders from living in the same place. If sex offenders could find a place to live, they would not have to live in the same place.

The bills want to stop sex offenders from living close to senior citizens. This does not make sense. Senior citizens are very rarely victims of sex crimes. A lot of sex offenders are senior citizens themselves. Are they going to stop them from going to a nursing home, too?

I would like for one of these politicians to explain just where a sex offender is supposed to live. Maybe they expect them to do like they are doing in Florida and live under a bridge.

I would like to see the public wake up to what the politicians are doing. They are getting on the sex bandwagon just to get votes. Sex sells products on television, in advertising, in the newspapers and billboards on the side of the highway.

Now the politicians want to use sex offenders to get elected. It does not matter to them that they are destroying people's lives. Every sex offender has a family. Do they think the sex offender notification law only affects the sex offender? Families are being destroyed because of this law.

The way sex crimes are portrayed on television is not the real world. Only a very small percent of the sex offenders would fall under actual violence. Movies and programs that show actual violent sex crimes sure help the politicians out.

Sex offenders are not being treated fairly under the Constitution. The ones making laws are not using rational thinking. Most of the laws pertaining to sex crimes are made from personal feeling and the wrong information about sex offenders. Sex laws are not passed according to what is right under the Constitution, or even what makes sense.

Some sex offenders deserve what they get. However, how can all sex offenders be held liable for another person's actions?

I am not upholding sex crimes. I very well do empathize, as well as sympathize, with victims of sex crimes. In this state anyone convicted of a sex offense is automatically a sexual predator. It does not even matter if he or she is a first-time offender.

If some of our so-called educated people making laws and running this state would do a little research, they would see that not all sex offenders are the same. Even the ones convicted of a crime pertaining to children are different.

What is really obscured is that hardly any sex offender has a trial. They are coerced into pleading guilty. Most do not even know that by pleading guilty they are being placed under the sex offender notification law. The sex offender notification law is being applied to people who pled guilty to a sex crime more than 20 years ago.

Is the sex offender notification law protecting the public? We hear of new sex offenses all the time, but not because of the already convicted sex offenders. Putting restrictions on the already convicted sex offenders will not stop sex crimes.

If the families and friends of sex offenders will stop voting for the politicians who are pushing for more restrictions on sex offenders and try to vote for the ones who look at sex crimes in a rational sense, then maybe ex-sex offenders will have the opportunity to return home and live productive and law-abiding lives.

Cindy Blair, a homemaker and relative of a sex offender, writes from Ohatchee.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay first off you say they are not able to live normal lives because of the laws. what about the children that do not get to have normal lives so what the should be locked up and never released it takes a very disturbed person to hurt a child as far as a person who has committed statuary rape i see your point a little but as far as everything else you would have a different out look if the person in your family was the victim of a sex offender instead of the person in your family being the sex offender.

11:43 AM  

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