Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Sex Offender Registry
America's Debate > Archive > Policy Debate Archive > [A] Domestic Policy
Google
Sleeper
Being involved in another debate about sex offenders that reside in the United States, I thought I would go check out the sites on the internet that list registered sex offenders in your area. You can search by State, county, city, zip code and more. This offers a good tool for parents who are looking to move into certain areas to make sure there is not a registered sex offender in the area.

In the past on many talk shows there have been those against this type of registry, saying it is unconstitutional and invading their right to privacy.

So, the debate question is as follows:

Do you think the national sex offender registry is unconstitutional?

If so... What would be your solution to deal with this growing problem in our society?
Google
EricStanze
QUOTE
Do you think the national sex offender registry is unconstitutional?


Not being american sorta excludes my views, as your constitutional seems more imporant then anything else, but i will give it a try;


I would say that these sex offender lost any rights they had when they committed the crime. United States have a law against sexoffenders (and all details regarding this), and thats the end of the story.


I would say a Registry of any kind against criminals is just plain logic. If we are to allow criminals to live, atleast we are to make sure we keep track of them so we can hunt them down next time they commit a crime (which they will). Sex offenders, which makes me think about pedophiles and rapistīs, are one of the lowest crime you can commit, not only as a personal opinion, but this is seen as general in the western world.



QUOTE
If so... What would be your solution to deal with this growing problem in our society?


As i do not think its "unconstitutional" i cant answer this i guess.
Vibiana
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Oct 29 2005, 04:11 PM)
Do you think the national sex offender registry is unconstitutional?

If so... What would be your solution to deal with this growing problem in our society?

*



It is absolutely NOT unconstitutional. The United States Constitution does not and should not offer special protections to people who prey on others.

Sex offenders wreak unspeakable damage on innocent people. In my mind, they forfeit any rights they may have had to privacy by the odious acts they engage in.
Sleeper
I'm surprised there aren't more participants in this thread ermm.gif

To answer my own questions.. I don't think the registry goes far enough. As in these people are still able to live a normal life, while their victim will have to relive the trauma of their experience for the rest of their lives. Besides being registered I belive there should be a big indicator placed on their drivers license and possibly their car tags.

Some may think my responses appeals to emotion. Well you're damn right it does. Why don't you ask the victim of a sexual abuse or rape crime and see what they tell you about emotional stress in their lives.
doomed_planet
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Oct 30 2005, 05:45 PM)
I'm surprised there aren't more participants in this thread


I apologize for overlooking this thread. I've been so consumed
with the other one. wacko.gif

QUOTE
I don't think the registry goes far enough. As in these people are still
able to live a normal life, while their victim will have to relive the trauma of their
experience for the rest of their lives.  Besides being registered I belive there
should be a big indicator placed on their drivers license and possibly their car tags.


I agree. More needs to be done. For heaven's sake, more needs to be done! ermm.gif

Is it constitutional? YES. The Constitution wasn't written to protect pedophiles
from self-inflicted shame and embarrassment (self-inflicted because they chose
to commit the crime that led to their name and information being on a registry).
These men received their "due process". It isn't excessive or unfair to take
measures to prevent future crimes, especially since we know the likelihood
that these criminals will repeat.

The good news is, if a man doesn't want to be branded a pedophile and
have his name, photo, address, etc. available in a registry for anyone to see
he can obey the law and he'll have nothing to worry about. thumbsup.gif
Paladin Elspeth
Do you think the national sex offender registry is unconstitutional?

Nope. Michigan has a registry. I think it just makes good sense to know of potential dangers. These people may be out on parole, but it doesn't mean that they are necessarily "cured" of their criminal ways. Better to have sex offenders identified so that they can be avoided. If a person chooses to associate with them with the knowledge of their criminal past, fine, as long as they are adults.

If so... What would be your solution to deal with this growing problem in our society?

N/A

Julian
Do you think the national sex offender registry is unconstitutional?

No, not really.

Although I think there needs to be a review of sex crime legislation to lengthen custodial sentences, and of police and prosecution practices to find out why there are such low prosecution and conviction rates in all areas of sex crime (not just against children).

I also think there should be a great deal more (publicly-funded - who else is going to do it?) research to find out if there is a way that these human weapons can be "made safe" if & when they return to the community. If there were such a method or methods, then a sex offenders register would be unnecessary. This would be the ideal, IMO, though may never be attainable.

If so... What would be your solution to deal with this growing problem in our society?

I think my solution would be education. I don't think there is any convincing evidence that this is a "growing problem in our society".

The fear and the paranoia is certainly growing - one of the underlying reasons that kids are obese these days is that parents are less willing to let them out and play at sun-up and forget about them until sundown (as often used to happen), because of the fear of abduction, abuse, or worse. Yet, I've never seen any statistics that abuse itself is becoming more common.

Abuse has happened throughout history. Those folktales about children being "away with the fairies" when they go missing, and then the stuff about "changelings" when they appear again with a different personality, and maybe growing up to be "evil" or "bad" in some unspecified way? I'd guess that was somehow linked to childhood abduction and abuse producing personality changes and perhaps perpetuating the cycle of abuse, myself. Rather than any actual goblins or fairies stealing children and replacing them with their own offspring.

Another the problem with sex offenders' registers is that they provide a false sense of security. Most abusers are inside the family. Most rapists are know to the victim. (Most wife-beaters are married to them.) The register encourages the (somewhat dangerous) myth that all abusers are predatory strangers.

Plus, unless we are going to have different registers for different sex crimes, we're likely to tar everyone with the same brush, including people (ok, let's be honest - men) who aren't really a danger. We don't yet have much evidence to suggest that wife-beaters are very much of a danger to children, or to the women they work with (unless they get married).

And, specifically in child abuse, the biggest significator in one's history that predisposes one to be an abuser is to have been abused oneself. So, to have a belt-and-braces approach and protect as many children as possible, the next logical step is to put all past victims onto the register as well. Statistically, they are more likely to become abusers themselves than someone who has never been abused so the register becomes more useful, because it warns parents about people who might become abusers, as well as people who have already done so. Sure, that's a violation of their constitutional rights, but it's for the wider public good, right?

But we wouldn't want to go down this road, would we?
Artemise
QUOTE
Plus, unless we are going to have different registers for different sex crimes, we're likely to tar everyone with the same brush, including people (ok, let's be honest - men) who aren't really a danger.


The registry often says what the accused was convicted of, either sexual battery (wife beating), sexual assault (rape) first or second degree abuse of a minor, third degree, or attempted. It often qualifiies whether the offense was child or adult abuse, but not the specific crime, which may be misleading to some extent, but clear enough to keep people watching.

QUOTE
And, specifically in child abuse, the biggest significator in one's history that predisposes one to be an abuser is to have been abused oneself. So, to have a belt-and-braces approach and protect as many children as possible, the next logical step is to put all past victims onto the register as well. Statistically, they are more likely to become abusers themselves than someone who has never been abused so the register becomes more useful, because it warns parents about people who might become abusers, as well as people who have already done so. Sure, that's a violation of their constitutional rights, but it's for the wider public good, right?


Im not sure what you mean to say here. One in three women (worldwide, and in the US and Australia, so its not just a third world problem) have been sexually abused or assaulted in some way in their lifetime, yet the majority dont become abusers themselves. Its statistically accurate that mostly men are pedophiles, rapists or abusers for whatever reason. Just the facts, which you already mentioned.

http://endabuse.org/resources/facts/
http://www.rvap.org/pages/national_statist...e_against_women

While its true that often the abuser is known by the victim, there isnt a high level of crossover that all or even most victims become abusers, so how do you see registering victims as well? Do you advocate blaming the victim and punishing them along with the abuser? Or are you saying that registering abusers is wrong, or that its right only if we register the victims as well to further protection? You give a conflicting answer.

QUOTE
Abuse has happened throughout history. (snip)..... I'd guess that was somehow linked to childhood abduction and abuse producing personality changes and perhaps perpetuating the cycle of abuse, myself. Rather than any actual goblins or fairies stealing children and replacing them with their own offspring.


Yes, abuse has happened throughout history, was generally overlooked even in my lifetime, as well as abuse regarding incest in many parts of the US.
Considering that women are severely over-represented when it comes to both child and adult sexual abuse, abduction, rape and domestic assault, yet under-represented in terms of offenses 'in history', your theory of cyclical continuation doesnt make that much sense, unless its male children 'watching' the thing and continuing on the path of their fore-fathers.
If abduction and abuse produced personality changes prepetuating the cycle, then right now many more women would be embittered abusers by a long shot, statitically, yet they are not.
Cyclical abuse is documented, to a point. At least the psychological problems relating to it. But each gender handles it differently. Perhaps it could be blamed on physical limitations, but with guns, feminism and other situations, like 'a man has to sleep sometime', I dont see why it hasnt equalized by now. Perhaps women have more fear of the law and are closer to children in general. Women are hardly ever pedophiles.

I have no idea of the whys, but I have no problem with the registry. I hope we can find better ways of dealing with this situation. I dont think it has recently gotten out of hand, I think we are just looking at it differently, and its about time. Actually, long overdue.
Julian
QUOTE(Artemise @ Nov 1 2005, 02:09 PM)
QUOTE
Plus, unless we are going to have different registers for different sex crimes, we're likely to tar everyone with the same brush, including people (ok, let's be honest - men) who aren't really a danger.


The registry often says what the accused was convicted of, either sexual battery (wife beating), sexual assault (rape) first or second degree abuse of a minor, third degree, or attempted. It often qualifiies whether the offense was child or adult abuse, but not the specific crime, which may be misleading to some extent, but clear enough to keep people watching.
*



Fair enough

QUOTE
Im not sure what you mean to say here. One in three women (worldwide, and in the US and Australia, so its not just a third world problem) have been sexually abused or assaulted in some way in their lifetime, yet the majority dont become abusers themselves. Its statistically accurate that mostly men are pedophiles, rapists or abusers for whatever reason. Just the facts, which you already mentioned.

While its true that often the abuser is known by the victim, there isnt a high level of crossover that all or even most victims become abusers,  so how do you see registering victims as well? Do you advocate blaming the victim and punishing them along with the abuser? Or are you saying that registering abusers is wrong, or that its right only if we register the victims as well to further protection? You give a conflicting answer.


I was talking here very specifically about child sex abuse (as I said, "And, specifically in child abuse, the biggest significator in one's history that predisposes one to be an abuser is to have been abused oneself."), and not rape other other sexual assults of adults.

Link 1
Link 2

The first link shows that only a small proportion of child abuse victims go on to become abusers themselves - at least, at 12%, smaller than previous studies that indicated almost half of victims grow up to abuse, but still significant. The Lancet study indicates that other factors taking place as well made adult offending much more likely. They specifically cite material neglect, lack of supervision, and (interestingly) sexual abuse by females (which other articles I Googled indicate might be rather more common than either of us thought - up to 60% of abuse events involve women, even is not as a lone actor)

Yet, as the second study shows, just under twice that many (22%) of convicted abusers report themselves as having been abused. So, not while not all victims grow to be perpetrators, almost an eighth of them do. And almost a quarter of perpetrators report themselves as victims.

The very existence of a sexual offenders register rests on recidivism rates - on the suspicion that once someone has committed one sex crime, they are more likey to commit another. However (and again, this is specifically limited to child sexual abuse), the recivism rate among convicted child molestors is 12.7% (according to this study, available here).

This isn't significantly different to the percentage of victims of child abuse who grow up to be abusers. Therefore, if we want the registers to be REALLY include all the people who could reasonably be assumed to be a potential threat to children, it would be a logical extension to include adult (male) victims of childhood sexual abuse, because there is around a 1 in 8 chance that they will be abusers themselves.

I say all of this not because I think it is a good idea - I don't. I know I'm using selective statistics to make a case most right-thinking people would find abhorrent. I'm more playing devil's advocate to illustrate the unsteady ground we are on when we are in discussions of registers of offenders and curtailment of the rights of one set of people to protect those of another set of people.

And I'm doing it because I have no more idea than you do that the proponents of the offenders' registers that we already have didn't carefully select their statistics to support their case and make it seem like common sense.

Cyclical abuse is documented, to a point. At least the psychological problems relating to it. But each gender handles it differently. Perhaps it could be blamed on physical limitations, but with guns, feminism and other situations, like 'a man has to sleep sometime', I dont see why it hasnt equalized by now. Perhaps women have more fear of the law and are closer to children in general. Women are hardly ever pedophiles.

I have no idea of the whys, but I have no problem with the registry. I hope we can find better ways of dealing with this situation. I dont think it has recently gotten out of hand, I think we are just looking at it differently, and its about time. Actually, long overdue.


No, neither do I know the whys - I have no idea at all why males abuse more than woman do. It's probably something either VERY deeply rooted culturally, or even a biochemical effect of sex hormones, in the same way that violence in all forms is vastly more prevalent in men than women.

I have no particular problem with the registry either, just the sense that we have to be aware that we are curtailing civil liberties, and certainly goging against the spirit, if not the letter, of the Bill of Rights, for people who, in the current terms of the justice system, have "paid their debt to society".

Not all slippery slopes have no grip on them whatsoever, but we should tread carefully here, because the ground is slicker than it looks.

Mitigation of risk does not ALWAYS justify curtailment of freedoms, even if they are other people's freedom. And the people who think it does, under all circumstances, might be the ones who take the principle beyond a common sense precautionary principle to the kind of extremes I illustrated.
Artemise
QUOTE
Megan's Law is named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known child molester who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of the tragedy, the Kankas sought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in the area. All states now have some form of Megan's Law.


Julian,

I believe we dont have stronger penalties for child molesters because they are mostly men and because this abuse has gone on historically and because men seem to see this as a civil rights issue of little merit and through history, a right or a minor parting from morality and law not a destruction of childrens and womens lives. This leniency and failure to understand the depth of this depravity is the reason repeat offenders are on the street time after time.

All the women have been on the same page about this. Perhaps most if any men do not understand what it is to be preyed upon from young child through adulthood and live always in some fear of being attacked, accosted, beaten and/or raped. Or as an adult, these days, to worry about the worst thing that can ever happen to your child, and you know it can, them being abducted or abused in some way themselves. There is no comparable everyday threat for men that starts so very young and lasts your whole life; as soon as you see that look in either your uncles eye, when a family friend touches too much or just someone on the street makes you worry, and we have a second nature that from that point on worries all the time with every mistep behind us, every untoward glance. And I was never assaulted or raped. We live with this as part of LIFE and still, society has seen it fit that dangerous men are let out to do the same heinous crimes over and over again to us and our children.

Its been said several times in the last thread that sexual predators, especially child molesters, cannot as far as we know be rehabilitated, and therefore for me should not be allowed to live in society. I have no idea what these second , third and forth time offenders are doing released, and I feel a registry is a weak excuse for containment of a HUGE and pressing problem for every family in the US and elsewhere.
Google
whyshouldi
Well, being we live in a civil society in which a system of laws is in place to I guess almost automate if I will daily life to a certain extent I think the whole system could use an overhaul. The department of homeland security basically wants to be able to gain access to every avenue internally in order to monitor for terrorist activity, I donít see why parents that live in terror of such a thing for there children should be denied equal representation in such a matter. itís a rather horrible crime, more so then many others, and basically sticks out like a sore thumb, and I doubt fully any individual would like to deal with life socially with such a label.

I donít see why a persons I.D card could not state such, or license plate tags, or just upon release, which should be purely probation basis release, a hard edged regime of monitoring and rules should be applied that even for minor infractions result in imprisonment again.

I donít know the facts exactly, or more to the point if itís a biological defect or just plain choice on the part of the criminal, but the justice system is to represent both parties with concerns for society at large. A loose system would only allow for those that canít help themselves or just donít plain care to commit the act yet again.

Capitol punishment is something I here suggested in such an arena many times over while talking casually with others. I always opt a lifetime in prison seems bad enough, giving more so what happens to sex offenders in corrections anyways. I do disagree with how the system works in regards to the release of such individuals though. Arthur Shawcross, a serial killer was released early after committing such crimes, barbarically I might add, to basically become engrossed in the serial killings of prostitutes he has fame for really. The main was easy to see as disturbed mentally, but no one really would allow for that to excuse for his actions. Basically it was a failure on the justice system on how to handle certain individuals. For some after release, a life in which sex offense is never committed again, for some it is, so how to fix that problem I think is the key component.
jjphatstrat
Here's my take on the registry...

I am writing this letter to anyone and everyone who will listen, as I, at the age of 29, have found myself in the midst of what most people would consider a violation of my civil rights as an American citizen. I have told approximately 40 people at this point, from friends and family to lawyers, teachers, and even people who hold public offices. Their responses have been unanimous across the board: What happened to me was not fair, not right, and has caused me to suffer beyond any punishment that they would wish upon their worst enemies. Their responses have emboldened me to try to spread my story even further.

In December of 2001, I was in my senior year at a Georgia state university, majoring in Business Management. I was 25, and had already earned an associates degree in music at this point, as well. An only child, I had spent most of my time between the ages of 19 and 24 taking care of my ailing mother, who passed away in 1998, and my ailing father, who nearly died in 2000. He suffers from congestive heart failure. It was a difficult time. The emotional stress of being confronted daily with the loss of both parents, for a period of years, is almost indescribable. I did my best to take care of them, and managed to stay in school and pass my classes.

I went to a party during that Christmas break, and there was a girl there. The fact that she was drinking beer and smoking cigarettes led me to believe that she was of legal age. I have never been a promiscuous person, but she came on to me, and we ended up sleeping together that night. I told the hosts of the party, a couple with whom I was good friends that I had hooked up with the girl at the party. They told me that she was the host's younger sister, and that she was 14 years old. They also told the father, who was a police officer.

Now, if there are two things that I am simply not capable of doing, they are intentionally hurting a child, and committing rape. I was arrested in February of 2002, and charged with Child Molestation, Statutory Rape, and Contributing to the delinquency of a Minor. They also tried to charge me with forcible rape, but it did not stick. I hired an attorney. The hosts of the party had provided the alcohol, so the charge of Contributing to the delinquency of a Minor was moved onto them. Over the next 6 months, I was arraigned and indicted, and the case eventually took 16 months to reach a trial date. Senior year in a college business degree program is hard enough, and having the prospect of going to prison as a child rapist is enough to scare the living daylights out of anyone. Still, I graduated with a B.S./B.B.A. (Management) in June of 2003, and one week after my graduation, my attorney presented my options to me. I could either plead out or go to trial.

The plea agreement did not seem all that bad at the time. I knew that, as the adult, I should have had the foresight not to have slept with that girl. I knew that the responsibility for the entire situation rested upon my shoulders. I took all the blame and felt genuinely remorseful for making such a stupid decision. They offered me a "First Offender" sentence. They would drop the Child Molestation charge, and leave the Statutory Rape. I was offered 10 years of probation, no jail time, and ordered to attend counseling, or "Sex Offender Treatment". The judge even went so far as to scratch out "No contact with anyone under 18 years of age" and replace it with "Females 13-17." That gave me a pretty clear message that the court/state was able to weigh the facts of the case and determine that I was not so much of a danger to society that I should have to be kept away from all children at all times. According to Georgia's First Offender Act, the case would also be shielded from the public and removed from my record if I was able to stay out of trouble for the duration of my probation. The most significant part of the plea agreement was that I would NOT have to register and have my name, address, and picture plastered across the Internet. The DA and Judge had decided that I did not deserve to have my life wrecked because of this. I took the plea, was grateful for what I had received, and attempted to become a contributing member of society. When I took the plea, the state also dropped all charges against the hosts of the party (Contributing to the delinquency of a Minor).

Over the next 2 years, I did everything that I was supposed to do. I never missed a day of probation or counseling. My probation officer even showed compassion toward me, stating that even he did not believe that I should have been punished as harshly as I had been. Still, I was able to incorporate everything and forge a fantastic, successful life for myself. I closed on my first house in October of 2004, had a fantastic job as a guitarist (studio and live performances) and taught music lessons during the day at a local music store. I bought my house 5 minutes from the store.

During the home buying process, I had also become good friends with the realtor that I was working with, and she got me a job working for a mortgage company as a loan agent. I had the qualifications, and was really quite interested in learning more about the industry. About 2 weeks after being hired by the company, though, something strange happened. I received a letter of termination stating that I had "Derogatory Background". I immediately knew that it must have been the one and only thing that I had ever gotten in trouble for, the sex offence. I contacted my probation officer and attorney and was told the same thing by both of them: "That should not happen, you have First Offender, that information is not supposed to be out there" Protection from that information was promised to me by the court. I was promised by the Superior Court of Cobb County, Georgia. I was under the impression that what was promised to me was what I would actually receive. Otherwise, I may not have agreed to the offer.

On July first, 2005, Georgia changed the law. The GBI Website now reads, "Effective July 1, 2005, all First Offenders must register."

I remember going to my monthly meeting with my probation officer and having him tell me. He was very upset at having to tell me that I would have to register. He was incredibly sorry, but said that it was "The Law". I had been keeping up with all the issues, hearing the stories in group. My probation officer would even say to me every time I met with him, "Just be glad you're not on that Internet! I have guys come through here with stories you would not believe...your neighbors...can't keep a job...harassment..." Every month he would tell me that, and every month I would count my blessings. He also told me several times not to tell anyone about my offense...that I was shielded by the First Offender thing. Over the next week, I contacted the judge, my attorney, everyone that I possibly could, and was told the same thing: "It's the Law now". One of my students, a sergeant with the Fayetteville police department, even wrote me a letter saying that I did not deserve this, and that over the last 2 years, I had obviously become part of the solution and not the problem. I had no choice but to comply with the law, though, so I went down to the Sheriff's office of the county where I live, and went through the process.

Two months later, I lost my job. Someone had spotted me on the Internet and called the owner of the store. The owner called me aside one day and fired me. He first said that I should leave the county, but I presented him with my court documents that state that I am only restricted from contact with a specific group, and that I had been following my probation to the letter. I showed him all of the letters that people had written for me. He was very sorry, but explained that he, as the owner of a family business, could not afford to be associated with someone in my position. He did tell me that I was welcome to come back if I was able to get this all sorted out.

The biggest problem with all of this, through my eyes, is that I have done so much over the last 2 years. I have based and built my life around the guidelines that were set out for me. I am being forced to undo the successes that I have accomplished under these guidelines. To go back and change the rules 2 years later just seems unconscionable to me. The worst part is that forcing people to register has already been challenged at the Supreme Court level, and the verdict has been returned that it is not considered additional punishment to be placed on the Registry. If it were considered additional punishment, it would violate the constitutional laws of due process and against double jeopardy and ex post facto laws. The problem is that it IS additional punishment. Being placed on the sex offender website is probably one of the most horrible things that can happen to a person in today's society. The registry does not state the conditions of my probation. I'm sure that the lady who called the store did not realize that I was not violating any laws by teaching there. She, like most other people who check the registry, probably assumed that I was a child rapist/molester/kidnapper who deserves to burn in Hell forever. That is one of the biggest problems with the registry. People who are on it are automatically assumed to be the worst of the worst through society's eyes. I am not a rapist. I do not hurt children. I do not want to sleep with children.

The misinformation that is being propagated by most mainstream media outlets is another horrible aspect of all of this. The words, "Sex Offender" and "Child Molester" are used synonymously. The words "Child Predator" and "Sicko" are all associated with people who are on the list. I'm 29 years old. I own a house. I have tons of friends and had 3 roommates living here with me. Yes, this story continues...

Last week, the police came to my house to check up on me. It is police procedure to do random checks on everyone who is on the registry. I was not here at the time, but my roommates were. Of course, they were aware of my situation by now. I had told everyone in my life when I was forced to register. The police busted through the door and placed everyone in handcuffs and made them lie down on the floor. They exclaimed, "Are you people aware that you are associating with a Registered Sex Offender?" They said yes. No arrests were made that night, but everyone moved out after that.

I also told all of my students when this happened. When the store fired me, I called all of my students and told them that I would be teaching from home now. I do teach some kids, and simply sat the parents down, one by one, and told them my story. I had to do this about 30 times throughout the course of the week. Not one of them decided to quit taking lessons from me. Everyone that I told was very sorry to hear that I was having to go through this, and they all said that I did not deserve it. Some of these families have been taking lessons from me for 2 years now. Some of these families are also pretty influential members of the community. I teach some very important people's kids, and they have all stuck by me. I told them I was sorry for not telling them earlier, but that my probation officer had been telling me along not to tell a soul!

Being forced to register threw my life into a tailspin, no doubt about it. I made a mistake over 3 years ago, and while I am not proud of having done it, I am certain that it was not a completely unconscionable act. All of the people that I have told have looked me right in the eye and said "John, that could have been me." I accepted as much responsibility as I could for my mistake, and tried my best to move forward accordingly.

Being placed on the Sex Offender Registry is one of the most horrible things that our society has ever known. It is a cruel experiment by our government that has already been proven to do absolutely no good towards protecting society from dangerous people. The lawmakers had no idea what they were doing when they passed (and continue to pass) all these laws. I know this for a fact because my uncle, a member of the (GA) house of congress, even said so himself when I told him that my entire life had been ruined by a law that he didn't even remember voting on last year.
It is absolutely mind blowing to myself and everyone that I have told (and I've told a lot of people at this point), but nobody seems to be able to do anything about it...nobody wants to touch it because it's such a "hot button" issue right now. Nobody would want to be accused of "Not wanting to protect the children..."

As a matter of fact, U.S. Department of Justice figures show that only 5.3% of all new sex-related crimes are committed by a person who has been previously convicted of a sex crime. They polygraph us twice a year. They make us all go to the same counseling. In the group that I go to, we sit and watch videos of people recounting stories from their pasts of being kidnapped as children and having horrible things done to them. I never did anything like thatÖand I never would. Nobody wants to believe the proven data that is out there regarding recidivism rates, although the data is right there. Instead, there is another figure floating around, a much higher number that is being circulated. The idea that 95% of all sex offenders re-offend is just a total lie. For some reason, it is being spread, and people are believing it. Making people believe that everyone on that wretched list is going to kidnap their child and do horrible things to them is inhumane.

I can't believe that they gave me a chance, though, then 2 years later turned around and took it all away...pulled the rug right out from under me. I based my entire life on the premise that was laid out for me on the day my fate was supposedly decided in that court room. I trusted the judge...I trusted my attorney. I thought that the punishment that I received was the punishment I was going to get...and now...all these years later...

Looking forward, though, the most amazing thing is that all these students of mine have decided to stay with me. I have known some of them for almost 2 years anyway and just had to sit the parents down one by one and tell them basically what I have just written here. All of the guys at the store (who I had become friends with over the years) think it's that the owner fired me. My roommates still come over and hang out...but they just say they're not comfortable living here. I think they might move back in a couple weeks or so. They'd better...I still have all their stuff.

So this is where I am today, just trying to hang on while my life is being ripped away from me. I feel awful for what happened. Itís embarrassing, itís humiliating, I feel remorseful. Iím sorry for what I did. I have proven over the last 2 years that I was on the right track, though, and held up my part of the deal. My main purpose in writing this letter is just to get my story out there. I am not the only person in this situation. States all across the country continue to pass harsher and harsher ďfeel goodĒ legislation under the guise of ďprotecting the childrenĒ. Passing harsher laws against ďSex OffendersĒ means guaranteed votes for politicians. Itís a political hot button right now and there are people having their lives ruined over it who just donít deserve to have that happen to them. I hope someone reads this and cares enough to try and help me. I donít know how help is possible, but I have to do something. If I do nothing then I will lose everything. I might lose everything anyway, and nobody that I have had to tell this to, including the Judge and the DA on the original case, felt that I should have to undergo this type of punishment. It was settled then. Why it continues to be settled over and over again is beyond me. If itís truly in the interest of ďProtecting the ChildrenĒ, then Iím all for that. If I need to be on the front lines of the battle against child sexual abuse in this country, then so be it. Put me on the front lines. But I fail to see the reason behind taking away all my means with which to put up any sort of fight. To go back and change the rules is unethical, immoral, and dishonest on the part of the people enacting these laws. I hope this letter finds its way into the hands of as many people as it possibly can. Based on the people that I have told this story to face to face, I am sure that very few people who read it will agree that what I (and many others across the country) am enduring is fair. The problem is that that I have been lumped into a category of people that nobody wants to try and stand up for. I can almost see the genius in creating such a system. Call a person a child rapist and NOBODY is going to stand up for them. There is not a single person on the face of the planet that has a soft spot in their heart for someone who hurts children. Being forced onto the registry has given me the automatic stigma as the worst possible monster that society knows. I am not that monster.


Please feel free to contact me, or check out my website for more information.


Sincerely,

John E. Jordan
Giles
Do you think the national sex offender registry is unconstitutional?

Not at all. I agree with the many posts above. When they committed the crime, they pretty much lost some of their rights, privacy of them being sex offenders is DEFINITELY one of them.


If so... What would be your solution to deal with this growing problem in our society?

Nothing, I think it should be enforced more. I think they should have to contact someone in the correctional system every so often so that the correctional officer can validate their information and make sure it is update in the data base.
serpenteyes
I do not agree with having a registry of sex offenders posted on the internet. I understand the local police station having a registry, but I do not believe it should be posted on the internet for the entire world to see.

I believe the fact that these sites contain the photos and addresses of the people is a violation of their constitutional right. Now, it has been stated above that they lost these rights when they committed the act they committed, and I would agree that they do deserve to be punished (no doubt about that), but I do not think that punishment should follow them around for the rest of their life. When they jump back into the real world, they will already have served whatever jail/sentence time they had to. (The question of whether or not it was enough is a debate for another time.)

It is not just that it infringes upon their privacy or their ability to return to a normal life, but is can have deadly effects as well.

http://www.westernprisonproject.org/info/wa/cscs/story/705

That link showcases an instance where two men were killed because they were registered sex offenders. Obviously, that is a worse case scenario. But the fact remains that it did happen, and it happened because of the registration.
Vibiana
QUOTE(serpenteyes @ Nov 17 2005, 03:54 AM)
I believe the fact that these sites contain the photos and addresses of the people is a violation of their constitutional right.  Now, it has been stated above that they lost these rights when they committed the act they committed, and I would agree that they do deserve to be punished (no doubt about that), but I do not think that punishment should follow them around for the rest of their life.  When they jump back into the real world, they will already have served whatever jail/sentence time they had to.  (The question of whether or not it was enough is a debate for another time.)

It is not just that it infringes upon their privacy or their ability to return to a normal life, but is can have deadly effects as well.
*



The victim of a sex offender must live with the feeling of violation and shame or embarrassment the rest of his/her life. In the case of a child, such an incident can severely impede their emotional development for all time.

This being the case, the question of whether or not punishment is 'enough' is very much a debate for NOW. Having to register as a sex offender and answer for the devastation he or she has created in a nother person's life is small recompense indeed.
Julian
QUOTE(Vibiana @ Nov 17 2005, 05:29 PM)
The victim of a sex offender must live with the feeling of violation and shame or embarrassment the rest of his/her life.  In the case of a child, such an incident can severely impede their emotional development for all time.

This being the case, the question of whether or not punishment is 'enough' is very much a debate for NOW.  Having to register as a sex offender and answer for the devastation he or she has created in a nother person's life is small recompense indeed.
*



I'm not sure that's enough of an argument, on it's own.

A drunk-driver that hits my car and puts me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life several impedes me. If he or she is caught and punished in jail, they'll come back out at some point.

Alcohol can be a habit, or it can be something you abuse once and have a sensible relationship with forever afterwards (especially if you know someone died because of your lack of self control).

Provided my notional DUI nemesis doesn't so much as run a red light, even his insurers might eventually treat him like a normal responsible citizen again. And if he is caught in a compromising (illegal) situation with regard to alcohol & vehicles at any subsequent time, whether or not anyone else is harmed, he'll get a stiffer penalty, and if he does it again, eventually he won't legally be allowed anywhere near a steering wheel. There's no national register of DUIs on the internet, is there? (Whether or not there should be is another thread.)

Is stunted emotional development SO much worse than being crippled that convicted sex offenders get one strike and are out forever? Bear in mind that someone can get onto the register in the first place for something relatively inocuous, as jjphatstrat has already illustrated.

Nobody can sensibly describe what he did as a good thing, or something that didn't deserve some kind of penalty, but (taking it at face value) it's not in the same league as someone who systematically sets out to predate on 14 year old girls but only gets caught once, is it? Yet both types of offender go on the register as convicted of "statutory rape". No register is going to be able to put on the whole trial transcript (especially if the plea is bargained and it never gets to court).
Sleeper
QUOTE(Julian @ Nov 17 2005, 11:46 AM)
QUOTE(Vibiana @ Nov 17 2005, 05:29 PM)
The victim of a sex offender must live with the feeling of violation and shame or embarrassment the rest of his/her life.† In the case of a child, such an incident can severely impede their emotional development for all time.

This being the case, the question of whether or not punishment is 'enough' is very much a debate for NOW.† Having to register as a sex offender and answer for the devastation he or she has created in a nother person's life is small recompense indeed.
*



I'm not sure that's enough of an argument, on it's own.

A drunk-driver that hits my car and puts me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life several impedes me. If he or she is caught and punished in jail, they'll come back out at some point.

Alcohol can be a habit, or it can be something you abuse once and have a sensible relationship with forever afterwards (especially if you know someone died because of your lack of self control).

Provided my notional DUI nemesis doesn't so much as run a red light, even his insurers might eventually treat him like a normal responsible citizen again. And if he is caught in a compromising (illegal) situation with regard to alcohol & vehicles at any subsequent time, whether or not anyone else is harmed, he'll get a stiffer penalty, and if he does it again, eventually he won't legally be allowed anywhere near a steering wheel. There's no national register of DUIs on the internet, is there? (Whether or not there should be is another thread.)

Is stunted emotional development SO much worse than being crippled that convicted sex offenders get one strike and are out forever? Bear in mind that someone can get onto the register in the first place for something relatively innocuous, as jjphatstrat has already illustrated.

Nobody can sensibly describe what he did as a good thing, or something that didn't deserve some kind of penalty, but (taking it at face value) it's not in the same league as someone who systematically sets out to predate on 14 year old girls but only gets caught once, is it? Yet both types of offender go on the register as convicted of "statutory rape". No register is going to be able to put on the whole trial transcript (especially if the plea is bargained and it never gets to court).
*




How can you say that Julian. Do you have a child or a niece or nephew who has been the victim of such a heinous crime. I have a close relative who was the victim of such a heinous crime and she is now 42 years old and STILL has nightmares and is terrified to be out in public on her own. Her attacker is a free man as of some 20 YEARS ago, and enjoying a life somewhere on the west coast.
Her life has pretty much been ruined, and the scum that did this is out there enjoying his.

Jjphatstrat story is all it is, a story. He still made the poor decisions to put himself in such a predicament. Should the laws be laxed for people like him. Ignorance is never and excuse.(and if you say it is, then I guess you should head on over to the thread about Tom Delay and back him, cause that is his excuse).

jjphatstrat
Thanks for your responses. I'm very glad that my post was even posted. I realize that I am on really REALLY shaky ground here, and I'm trying to see it from all sides. I have come to learn that people are all across the board on this issue, opinion-wise. It's an ugly situation to be in, and I can accept responsibility for everything that is happening to me now...to a point. The most horrible of horrible things have happened to children recently, as some of these news stories have showed us in graphic detail. I would do anything to prevent just one child from being harmed, especially in a sexual way. It just brings to mind everyone's worst childhood fear, I can understand society's relentless crusade to stop those things from happening. It's easy to write off what happened in my situation as a "story" or just a minor consequence of the bigger picture "justice" that is being served to protect society from the true monsters out there. I lost my job over this. My name and address is plastered all over the Internet. For what? For that? What I wrote in my previous post is exactly what happened...from the "offense" to the arrest to the plea. Normally, that would have been the moment in time when I was permitted to move forward. It is that right to move forward that has been protected by our constitution...until now. I moved forward and did well...and now this. I didn't go and hang out at playgrounds...I didn't go online to chatrooms and try to pick up underage girls. I got my degree and dove right in and DID WELL. It's not just that my information is out there. At face value, that's not such a bad thing. It's the fact that all it took was some lady, whom I have never met, have no idea who she is except that she's an "activist" of some sort, called my work and got me fired. It's a clever niche that I have fallen into here...enough to be considered "not fair...wrong" by almost everyone, but not "wrong enough" to be all that bad because I "kinda deserve it". From the outside looking in it's acceptable, but I can assure you, this is not just some "Story". This is my life, and I just feel so violated by the government. Sure it's easy to say "well that girl probably feels violated...and that I was old enough to know better..." but I just don't deserve all this. Not to mention that putting so many people on the registry really just diverts the attention away from the people that really are the true threats. Did you know that in Kansas there are kids as young as 12 on the registry? Kids 16 are common. Sure, it's possible to navigate a life with that stigma, but it's a million times harder than what the normal person has to go though...you're constantly looking over your shoulder, hoping that the next person you meet doesn't go on the Internet and make a big stink over it. My friends know...and they are sticking by me, so that's comforting, but I really feel like I am at the mercy of society as a whole right now. We do live in the civilized world, though, right? Well, not really. One of the main reasons that the laws and the police are around is to protect us from EACH OTHER. There's a lot of hatred still left in the world, and believe me, having your name and address up on the Internet right next to mister "fondled 12 year old boys at the playground until he finally got caught" is a pretty scary place to be. The fact that it was supposedly settled when it was settled in court and now it's all changing is also a pretty scary place to be. The Children's Safety Act of 2005 ,which has passed in the house and is sitting in the senate, will bring harsher federal regulations. Lifetime registration for one. Half of that document is dedicated to funding, too. States that comply with the harsher laws get more money, and those dont fully comply will have their funding cut. States get more money the more people they have on their registries, too. There's something pretty big going on, much bigger than just the Sex Offender Registry. That was just the trojan horse. The damage has been done, and constitutionally protected rights have been eroded far beyond what most people realize, and it's all been done under the guise of "protecting the children". Anyway, I'm sorry to write so much. I really truly am sorry for what I did with that girl (it really was completely consensual...i didn't coax or persuade her in any way...except by being the adult in the situation). If I could go back and chenge it then my GOD I would in a heartbeat. I just hope that the people who do realize that what I did was not completely a unconscionable act that deserves a lifetime of punishment, ridicule, banishment, loss of jobs, housing, family, and friends. Thanks again for letting me post here. Please voice your true feelings and opinions about this. I have been through enough already...I'm sure I can handle a few harsh words. I am very curious to see what people think about this whole thing, because as I said, I'm trying to see it from all sides.

Thanks,

John
Amber Leaf
Yes, it is completely unconstitutional.

In the first place it is not a growing problem within our society. The media and the politicians are creating the hysteria to make the sheeple think it is a growing problem in our society.

The U.S. Dept of Justice states the recidivism rate for sex offenders overall is 5.3%, which is lower than all other crimes except murder. It also shows persons with crimes other than sex offenses are more likely to commit a sex offense after leaving prison than a sex offender is. So where is the need for the sex offender registry?

I will give you two examples:

Joe Smith was found guilty yesterday of the horrendous, brutal murder and sexual assault of Carlie Brucia in Florida. His previous crimes were drug convictions and I believe it was two violent offenses, but they were not sexual offenses. His drug of choice was cocaine. How would the registry have protected little Carlie from him? He was not a registered sex offender, a registered violent offender or a registered drug offender. Carlie was walking home alone from a friends house.

John Couey is to be tried soon for the horrendous, brutal murder and sexual assault of Jessica Lunsford in Florida. This beautiful little girl was taken from her bed. He entered through an unlocked door in the middle of the night. Couey had two prior sex crime convictions against children. The second one in 1991 he told police he had many other victims and he needed help. No one bothered to find these other victims in order to incarcerate him longer. He was never sent to Sex Offender Therapy. His other charges were MANY drug charges. His drug of choice was also cocaine. He was currently on mild probation through the Salvation Army. This is who does the probation of that type in Florida. They did not know he was a registered sex offender. The Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement sent the County Sheriff a message 3 months before Couey abducted Jessica that he was not at his registered address. They had received the address notification back from the USPS that his address was unknown. The police knew he was on probation at the Salvation Army, yet they failed to locate him. His family, that he was living with, knew he was a registered sex offender and they didn't let anyone know he was there. How did the registry help little Jessica?

Both of these tragic cases prove the registry is useless. The really sad part is that Florida along with the Federal Govt and many other states are now putting laws on the books to punish every sex offender for the crimes of a few. Yes, the registry is punishment. There are many Legislators and Law Enforcement persons who have been quoted saying this. Yet, the Supreme Court says it isn't punitive it is civil requirements, much like having to have a drivers license in order to drive. If they are not punishment how can a person be convicted of a felony for failure to register?

The Constitution and The Bill of Rights guarantee that a person be able to become a productive member of society once they have paid their debt for a crime committed. This is not so with a sex offense. Whether it be against a child or an adult or no victim. The registry has people convicted of public urination, indecent exposure, Romeo/Juliets, (in some states if both teens are under the age of consent they are both convicted of sexual assault against each other), skinny dipping, and many other victimless crimes. Most of these are young people. Do they deserve to have their lives ruined? No they do not. We now have many states putting children as young as 6 on the registry. Their crimes are what was called "playing doctor" or exploration when I was a child. So now their lives are ruined before they have begun.

It could be your own child facing this one day. It is highly likely. You could also be facing this yourself one day. False accusations are very hard to prove your innocence from. They happen very often.

Think about this America. This is just the beginning of the police state. You are willingly allowing this to happen and it will just make it easier for more and more rights to be taken away.

Thank You



Amber Leaf
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Oct 30 2005, 08:45 PM)
I'm surprised there aren't more participants in this thread  ermm.gif

To answer my own questions.. I don't think the registry goes far enough. As in these people are still able to live a normal life, while their victim will have to relive the trauma of their experience for the rest of their lives.  Besides being registered I belive there should be a big indicator placed on their drivers license and possibly their car tags.

Some may think my responses appeals to emotion. Well you're damn right it does. Why don't you ask the victim of a sexual abuse or rape crime and see what they tell you about emotional stress in their lives.
*



I was molested twice as a child. You wanted someone asked and here I am. How very lucky for you! biggrin.gif I am not a victim. I am a survivor. I also know many other survivors who feel as I do that the Registry is wrong. I also know some survivors who are in more pain over what this country is doing to their loved one and they consider this is more than what the loved one did to them I would not want that kind of life for either of my abusers.

The thing that sets myself and other survivors I know apart is that we are survivors we are not victims. Do you realize how many families are reunited after these cases? Can you imagine what the child is put through by society after these reunifications? Also, the children born to a teen that was convicted of sexual assault for consensual sex. There was an under the age of consent couple in Wisconsin, the girl got pregnant. The law in Wisconsin is that if a person goes to a doctor or health department for birth control, or because she is pregnant, the doctor or health department are to report her to the authorities. In this particular case, they were both given probation. They were both the same age, but under the age of consent by one year. They both have to register as sex offenders. The really sad part is the boy worked to help support his child. His Mother had to take the money he had to the girl because the boy was not allowed any contact with her or with their child. He was not allowed to be there for the birth, the child support was not court mandated, but he did it anyway. His child was over a year old before he was allowed to see the child. So this child will eventually be attending school Mommy and Daddy are both registered sex offenders. The stigma that will be attached to this child are an atrocity. He will be ridiculed, called names, beaten up and ostracized because his parents didn't even realize they were breaking a law, they just allowed their hormones to take over. (Like teens have been doing for many years). If they are going to teach sex education in the schools, they should also teach the sex crimes laws and the age of consent.

What is the registry solving with these children on there?

Thank You
whyshouldi
When you hear of a case that involves a grown adult sexually assaulting and then disfiguring a child victim with a chainsaw, which has happened, I think its enough to get to anyone.

I know many family members that would not bat an eye to have the death penalty put to these people. I can see the issue when it involves two seventeen year olds, and why it should not take on the same light as say someone in there thirties kidnapping a small child for such. On either end no parent I imagine wants to have such occur overall, and does not mind what the system does do convicted sex offenders, least no one I have had conversation with about such.

I still think that parole should be lasting and minor infractions involve incarceration. Even if the return rate is small, its still a return rate, and that means justice did not strive to protect the public as it could if it wanted to or was able to. For those that want to live different from the crime committed, it would be a null issue as they would not get in trouble again, barring something like a speeding ticket I imagine.

About it ruining someoneís life, well, I guess one of the reasons they want to publish the persons name publicly is not only to protect any area that person may come to inhabit, but also it could detract from that person daring to commit such again, it may or may not. What if there was no list, that means the person is free and no one barring a criminal record look up would ever know, that could apply many windows of opportunity for someone that is looking to do such again.

The bottom line is these people eventually get put back in general population, free to roam and so on. How to try to block that person from committing the crime again, which does happen. You cant in any form ever know for sure if he or she will can you? so what are the options.

Its a matter that applies to any person released on parole, but stealing cars to molesting children has a gap of difference donít you think?






Ted
QUOTE(Sleeper @ Oct 29 2005, 12:11 PM)
Being involved in another debate about sex offenders that reside in the United States, I thought I would go check out the sites on the internet that list registered sex offenders in your area. You can search by State, county, city, zip code and more. This offers a good tool for parents who are looking to move into certain areas to make sure there is not a registered sex offender in the area.†

In the past on many talk shows there have been those against this type of registry, saying it is unconstitutional and invading their right to privacy.

So, the debate question is as follows:

Do you think the national sex offender registry is unconstitutional?

If so... What would be your solution to deal with this growing problem in our society?

*



NO. We seem unable to keep the worst offenders in jail regardless of the fact that most psychologists, and even many offenders, will tell you they cannot be reformed.

Our only alternative then is to allow those of us with kids to know where these predators are so we can keep an eye on them and our kids when they are around.

Personally I would favor the death penalty, or life in prison for these crimes but that is not likely to happen soon in most states.
This is a simplified version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2014 Invision Power Services, Inc.