Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sex Offenders Part II

Last week, I ran across this small bit of political news from Tim Grieve who writes for Salon. It quotes the inept Republican Senate Candidate, Jeanine Pirro from a speech she recently gave:
In a speech this week before a group of local Republicans, Pirro lashed out at the Democratic-controlled New York Assembly for failing to adopt legislation that would have required the confinement of sex offenders after their prison sentences ended. "That's a difference between Democrats and Republicans," Pirro said. "We don't want them next door molesting children and murdering women."
Pirro being an idiot isn't much news. Everyone is focused on the inartful language about Democrats and Republicans. But it's news to me that the New York legislature was actually considering such legislation! Was this a proposal for an arbitrary confinement after prison, or as a part of a prison sentence or what? Was there any due process involved?

It looks like this particular piece of legislation is dead. But I know that the California legislature has been grappling with this same issue, given the hysteria around sex offenders. In this post, I outlined the myths associated with treatment and recividism. But the hysteria continues with the assumption that anyone who has ever offended will reoffend.

I don't want it to look like I'm some kind of friend of sex offenders. I'm not. I've worked with a few that I wouldn't believe if they told me the sky was blue. Nor am I a big fan of other violent criminal. These are offenses that challenge our emotions at the core. But we owe it to all citizens to construct polices based on reality, not myth.

Added: I wrote this post on Friday and planned to post it on Saturday. In the meantime, I ran across this via TalkLeft:
Child-welfare authorities seized a newborn from a hospital Friday and placed the baby in a foster home because his father is a convicted sex offender. A judge granted the mother supervised visitation rights but prohibited visits from the father.

The baby was born Tuesday and the agency obtained an emergency court order Wednesday authorizing it to take the infant after arguing that his safety is in jeopardy because the father pleaded guilty to rape and sodomy two decades ago in New York. The agency also cited concerns about the mother's alleged history of drug abuse, the mother's lawyer said.
TalkLeft's take on it:
The parents did not live together. Where is the evidence that he is a repeat offender or a risk to his child? How old was the victim in his first offense? What's next? A parent with a marijuana conviction stands to lose their kids because authorities think he or she might still be using in the home?


Today sex offenders are the lowest on society's totem pole, no matter that too many of the laws fail to discriminate between the violent sexual predator and the kid who pleaded guilty to avoid a date rape trial; or the kid who had consensual sex with his underage girlfriend.
Couldn't have said it better myself. What about due process?

As I've said in previous posts. I know from experience of card carrying, convicted (via plea bargain to avoid the cost of trial) "sex offenders" who's real offenses were to have played "Doctor" in during the current hysteria. I wonder if these pre-teen boys will have their baby's removed twenty years after their "offenses"


At 12:09 PM, Blogger Lynne said...

great post.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Counters
Site Counter
eXTReMe Tracker