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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » How to run sex offender registries?

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Author Topic: How to run sex offender registries?
Dzuunmod
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Laws regarding how the local sex offender registry is run, are out of date, says this article in a paper from the American city of Detroit. The whole piece is pretty one-sided, but it appears that the reporter was striving for balance - the guy who initially wrote the law is quoted.

So, how about it then? Where's the happy medium here? It'd be nice, of course, to say that all the cases should be treated individually, but then we'd be putting too much power into the hands of the judges. I guess that when cases like the one cited in the article's lead start popping up, it's just time to liberalize things a little bit.

Anyone have any stories about sex offender registries where they live? Or suggestions about which sex laws are the right sex laws?


Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Doe
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The kid shouldn't be removed from the list after five years because he shouldn't be on it in the first place. Those sex registers should be reserved for those who have committed violent felonies only. Striving for balance? finding a middle ground? Come on, these laws are evil attacks on civil liberties. How about a nice balanced article on how the taliban treats women? They are a function of people being way to wrapped up about sex. The people who wrote these laws are warped and/or have room temp IQ's.
Posts: 475 | From: ohio | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sapphirecat
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That's impressive. As I recall, room temperature is about 293 Kelvins.

John, please don't go around randomly insulting people. It's better to shed light than heat. Thanks!

------------------
-- Sapphire Cat

Condense soup, not books!

I don't use the term "straight". It implies its opposite is "crooked".


Posts: 235 | From: Louisville KY (St. Matthews) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Doe
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Sorry, but that is the sort of thing that really pisses me off. Here is a kid who engaged in something that was juvinile and stupid, but basically harmless, and because of it he has sanctins put on him that last for the rest of his life. Meantime most other dangerous violent offender face no such long lasting consequenses. Registrys for violent criminals sure, but not just for sex offenses. A burglar is just as likely to reoffend as a child molestor. A mugger is more dangeous than a 17 yo boy who has consentual sex with his 15 yo girlfrined. This is asinine, the offense gets wiped off the books, but not really, since it follows him for the rest of his life. Look at the quote from that idiot who wrote the law. he is afraid that if a guy has consentual sex with a girl two years younger than him, that we don't know if he will be having sex (it doesn't say consentual or non-consentual) with someone 12 years younger than him ten years from now. Well duh, nobody can see the future. We don't know if he (the legislator) isn't going to start raping 5 year olds ten years form now either. there is something very important in this country called the presumption of innocence. Another guy said people say its unfair to be punishing people so many years after the fact, but what about the rape victim who is waking up with nightmares for the rest of her life. Well rape is a violent crime. i have no problem with registers for people who are vconvicted of violent felonies. But that is not the case in many of these people who get put on these registers.
here we have the state virtually inviting mob violence on people by posting their names on the net, or worse in the canse of that [--edited, but it meant jerk--] in the black robe down in texas, forcing them to put signs in their yards.
Why are crimes that are motivated by sex any worse than crimes motivated by other things. what there is no pychic damage done to people who are mugged or victims of armed robbery. People don't feel violated if their houses are broken into. heck we don't even have registers of murderers who are out on parole, as long as there was no sexual motivation for the crime.
Thes laws are the product of hysteria pumped up by a media that should know better. America has not progressed all that much since Salem 1665.

[human net nanny]

[This message has been edited by lemming (edited 10-16-2001).]


Posts: 475 | From: ohio | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sapphirecat
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Crimes involving--not necessarily motivated by--sex are crimes for two main reasons. In the case of rape, it's a crime because it's violent. In the case of statutory rape, child pornography, etc., it's a crime because someone figured it ought to be.

There's a social tradition stemming from religion that holds sex is "dirty". There's also a taboo on major age differences between partners. It is also much easier to lead a younger person on. That is why these kinds of things are crimes. However, I agree that prosecuting a 16-year-old for having consentual (and maybe even safer) sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend is majorly stupid. The law acts as if people don't have sexuality until it tells them they can.

The "Guilty until proven innocent" thing that we have about sex reminds me of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible", but I can't think of anything interesting to say about it.

As for the rape victim waking up with nightmares for the rest of his/her life (they only mentioned women, like nobody would assault a guy! hmmmph), I suggest that someone actually study this rather than make it up to woo the public. I know someone who is not waking up constantly with nightmares, and it's been 7 months (to the day) since then. I'm not saying she's representative of everyone, but it doesn't sound like the nightmare thing is adequate justification.

<sarcasm>In 1665, nobody had latex.</sarcasm>

What I find strangest about society's views on sex is that the age of consent is often lower than the age to legally buy pornography. Case in point, here in NY, it's 17 and 18, respectively. Interestingly, if I go about 8 miles south of my hometown, the age of consent drops a year. It's magic!

------------------
-- Sapphire Cat

Condense soup, not books!

I don't use the term "straight". It implies its opposite is "crooked".


Posts: 235 | From: Louisville KY (St. Matthews) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John Doe
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Actually the absolute difference in ages doesn't make any difference as lng as the younger one in the relationship is over the age of consent, what ever that may be in a given locality. A 17 you having sex with 15 yo, stigmatize him (or her but it is in reality almost always a him) for life. An 80 yo with a 18 yo, no problem (well now that there is viagra at least).
I still don't know why when sex is the motive one should go on the register, but if money or vengence is the motive you don't go on the register.
As for child porn it would be good if there were at least a clear cut definition of what it is. One guy was even sent to jail and put on a register because he had a video of fully dressed cheerleaders doing their routines. (I belive the case was Knox vs. Tennessee). In cases where it is pictures of kids doing sexual things with adults, I can see why that is against the law, but pics of kids skinny dipping, hardly a major leauge threat to society.

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lemming
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quote:
Originally posted by John Doe:
In cases where it is pictures of kids doing sexual things with adults, I can see why that is against the law, but pics of kids skinny dipping, hardly a major leauge threat to society.

Wait a minute. I think that's a bit off-topic in this instance, John, and not at all the direction this was intended to go.

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~lemming, Scarleteen Advocate

want to know the inner lemming? read her diary at http://innerlemming.diaryland.com.
"Did you see my friend? He couldn't believe it, 'The girls are holding hands, the girls are holding hands!' Don't be a fool, it's 1995, the girls are just friends." --Belle and Sebastian, "Photo Jenny"


Posts: 3156 | From: Austin, Texas | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sapphirecat
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Legally, absolute difference in age is not the point. Socially, it is. You asked:
quote:
Why are crimes that are motivated by sex any worse than crimes motivated by other things.

I was doing my best to explain that from my point of view. Law and social structure do not exist independently of each other, as both impose an order on people. Laws often come from social attitudes.

Child porn was only mentioned in passing as an example; I'm not saying it should be legal, or that the current definition is adequate, especially since I don't know what that definition is. I prefer not to argue about something I'm ignorant of.

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Sapphire Cat
You can love me or hate me, but it won't change who I am.


Posts: 235 | From: Louisville KY (St. Matthews) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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