Saturday, October 13, 2007

Logical extension

We deserve to know if any offender lives nearby

After reading the excellent series by Matthew Tully, "Life on the edge," I started thinking: We require sex offenders to list where they live and work, ostensibly because this protects society. So why do we not require it for all criminals?

Don't we deserve to know if there is a drug dealer living down the street? What about people convicted of violent crimes using guns and knifes or even their fists?
Drunken drivers usually re-offend. Want to know if there is one driving down your street before you let your kid play there? Gang members often return to gangs after prison, so why not list where they live and work? What about burglars, robbers, arsonists and murderers?
The recidivism rate for sex offenders is lower than for many of these other criminals, especially for those who obey the law and register. So if we require these people to tell us where they live, if we limit where they may live or work, then it only makes sense to extend this logic to everyone ever convicted. Or are the politicians only interested in sex crimes?

Nick Ames



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