Sunday, January 27, 2008

No Easy Answers: Sex Offender Laws in the US

Human Rights Watch has published an interesting report called No Easy Answers: Sex Offender Laws in the US. I've only read the summary and not the entire report (yet), but it points out the many problems with sex offender laws in this country.

I'm not sure that the report adequately observes the fact that the laws were originally sold to the public along with a completely false premise that for its longevity puts the Energizer Bunny to shame. But the conclusion in the summary, "...legislators will have to show that they have the intelligence and courage to create a society that is safe yet still protects the human rights of everyone" is laughably and incredibly naive.

Legislators are sheep -- if they're not following the herd they're trying to see where the herd is going so they can look like they're leaders. And, as they have and continue to do with sex offender laws in this country they run right over cliffs without a thought to what they're doing. This blog has long since noted the moral cowardice of the Iowa legislators too fearful to undo the nasty mess they created, yet other legislatores continue to propose running over the very same cliff -- how's that for intelligence?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of laws seem to run into the same problem of being too broad for what they are trying to do. For example with the sex offender laws the case where the offender was convicted of statutory rape when the offender is really only a year or so older than the minor (who may only be a year or less away from being legal) and it's fully consensual, and the parents are aware of it. In those cases the person is labeled as a sex offender even though they'll probably never do it again. Even the sex offender monitoring laws need work to help insure the true offenders aren’t able to get access to potential victims.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m not Anti-War, I am very militant and would front line a defense war, not this, this is a senseless invasion. From the beginning of this not one thing has added up except for deception, dishonesty, and fraud in our country. Our nation is becoming incredibly delusional, all the sudden the effects that christened America so great has become discarded. Our country was proud and magnificent because of our principles on life, liberty, and justice. Now that is all expendable and out-dated. Our own country is torturing people, utilizing covert prisons, attacking our freedom of speech, arresting American citizens without a warrant, prosecuting without a trial, what's more even without a lawyer. Our own country has invaded our rights to privacy, listening in on our phone calls, reading our e-mail, and they are monitoring our homes with satellites and through our cell phones even when they are turned off.
Our police were pulling people over if they had bumper stickers on their vehicle that sounded too "extremist". Is this America?
This is the war I see, it’s a war on our children and our rights! Sex Offenders are the other form of terrorist according to the government, because you don’t know who they are or where they are. So the government says to protect us and our children they will implant V Chips, not only in us, but in our cars, passports, identification, and run surveillance on our streets, homes, friends, and conversations. 96.5% of sex offenders are family members or friends to the victim, 97% are male, and only 3.5% of convicted sex offenders reoffend... Therefore the odds are YOU are more of a threat to commit a sex offense than a "sex offender". Mull over that for a moment. What will the next set of laws be? Will they treat us more like criminals than they currently are over of statistics like these? Will we again support them for the reasons or justifications of “good intentions”? In fact I have already seen the question here that leads to this, (We need to constantly ask "Legislators," why they continually focus new more restrictive legislation on ALL registered sex offenders, when they have the lowest recidivism rate, and legislators ignore the group committing "96.5% of new sex offenses," persons who have never before committed a sex offense?)
How can we prosecute people for life knowing how easy it is to be charged and convicted of a sex offense? Do you realize how many death row inmates have been found innocent due to D.N.A.? They convict sex offenders every day with merely ones word against anothers, today, a simple lie can wreck your life! How do V Chips, satellites, surveillance, and treating us like criminals stop our children from having a sexual encounter, protect our credit, or save us from terrorists that our government antagonizes?
We let them ignore Americans rights because we agree with the “good intentions” they sell us. Isn’t that what the Bible states the path to Hell is paved with? Did you know since that registry began the recidivism rate has increased, not declined, and the rate of sex offenses has not changed? There have however been thousands of vigilante attacks that have gotten an estimated 4000 innocent people hurt and even killed by mistaken identity or wrong addresses all together. In one case a pregnant woman was burned alive for nothing she had done. I have heard of “American justice” before, but it was in times when a guilty man unjustly went free. Not on a man who served HARD time in prison, not after the humiliation of refacing the public, and never after he was continually punished during and after his parole by the state. Now we harass or kill his family and friends as well? Is this what we have become? We now allow rights to be ignored?
Hitler used the media, fear mongering tactics, and created monsters to use as justifiable leverage against peoples rights, turned the people against one another, tortured people, held secret prisons, and reversed the impact of the word "WAR" till it was a good thing to happen to a nation. He too painted himself the protector and guardian. It makes me wonder if it is just a coincidence that Bushs’ grandfather worked for and with Hitler.
How are we keeping out terrorists if we can’t keep out drugs? How does opening our borders protect our borders? If this is what our country has become maybe the “terrorist” have us pegged and we deserve whatever we get. I for one do not need the government to protect my children and still hope we are a great and proud country because of our freedom, honor, fairness, and morals.

To those who feel our rights are not under attack:
The 14th century torture our government is practicing violates the Geneva Convention and international treaties. Your argument is that it is not “torture”, because our government says it is not torture unless it results in death or organ failure. By that definition it can be excruciating pain and can continue for years. Surveillance issued and imposed without probable cause or even with specific details, warrantless wiretaps-a violation of the 4th! Pervasive secrecy threatens the 1st! The detentions of American citizens designated as enemy combatants defy the 6th Amendment rights, and the interrogation techniques fall under cruel and unusual by the 8th Amendment. Not to mention sex offenders! Have you heard of Habeas Corpus? Do you realize the impact this will have in our future, the newly expanded powers our future leaders inherit? Who says they will use them for good? Over 600,000 brave, truly patriotic men died for these rights that are being ignored. Anyone who would support breaking them is NOT patriotic Americans!!!
I try to support our troops, but I will NOT support our government or this invasion. That embedded propaganda that “they fight for our freedom” is misinterpreted. When you are being told that, they are talking about Iraqi freedom, not ours, and both of which would incidentally be lies. Iraq is far from free and that isn’t changing anytime soon. By free they mean democratic, and by that definition it is America who is under attack. Our freedom IS under attack, our constitution IS in peril. What we thought were solid constitutional principles have been altered or readapted if deemed an obstacle to there scheme. They have painted us pictures with dubious intelligence in order to make us supporters. They deplore, constraint, and attack dissent so we argue like this instead of speaking like real Americans who would challenge and protect our rights. What, because people were being hurt over there it justifies our bombing of thirty of their major cities killing all those innocents, after bombing them for the past 10 years?
Where would our country be if our personal wars were exploited by other countries? Example, over 600,000 people died in our war between the North and South. Should Russia or China have played a role in that war? I personally don’t think so.
Our government has been financing their wars for forty years! Why do you think they were so sure they would find the "weapons" over there? Maybe because our government gave them these things, but were surprised to find they were gone.
Think about what your facts are for supporting this war, are they even relevant to what is happening. Why did our government destroy their water supply, Are their civilians part of this war? All the innocent children and elderly, don’t they matter? I am not delusional, I look at the facts and the fact is if we are under attack it is our government who is attacking us. Persons convicted of a CRIME have a circle of people around them, their Zone of Associations, their family (often with children), friends, business associates, and their daily contacts. Finally, when rights of persons PREVIOUSLY convicted of a CRIME are diminished, it effects not only that person, but every person in their Zone of Associations -everyone suffers-, including their children! If government can diminish rights of -anyone or a group-, then it has the power to diminish rights of everyone! Someday, every door may knock!

10:37 PM  

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