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California

Sex offenders are people too

The law has failed on sex offenders. Rather than preventing crime, the law makes crime inevitable. California’s Fourth Appellate District court recently ruled current laws regarding where sex offenders can live as “unreasonable.”

This is not an isolated case, but a pattern. California’s judicial system has slowly shifted away from prevention and rehabilitation toward punitive retaliation. Obviously, criminals are not the most pitiable people so it’s hard to feel bad for a registered sex offender, but one measure of a developed society is how well it treats its most despicable members. An advanced society tries to put an end to the cycle of crime by rehabilitating criminals so they can atone for what they did and then get back to their lives. A less advanced society is content with punishing transgressors by casting them off into a life where crime is the only viable path. Full Article

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  1. USA

    I really think this is a very interesting and educational attitude. I broke the law 1-time 17-years ago, but yet the legal ramifications still continue to affect me, even though the charges have since been dismissed and I’ve obtained higher education. Going to court was very scary and serving time in LA County Jail was scary as well. I was truly shocked by what I saw and heard. For many, its simply a revolving door. As I spent or did my time, I had a great deal of time to reflect on my mistakes and couldn’t understand how anyone could be in this place year after year or decade after decade. The entire time I sat in what I would consider a cage, I thought about all the wonderful things I could have been doing and that this is time I’ll never get back! Life is too short. In summary, there are laws in place and parole or probation exists to deal with those who chose to make mistake after mistake. Placing laws on the books that prohibit someone from residing in a certain area or prohibiting then from visiting a library or park might prohibit someone from breaking the law, but might is a pretty big word that might do more harm than good. The bottom line is that no law can erase the probability of someone breaking the law! I think its time for California to take a different approach on those who make poor decisions. Its certainly accurate to say that whatever they are doing now isnt working. If you treat someone like an animal, they are going to act like an animal!

  2. steve

    USA: Great comment. I too often thought and think how could anyone make a mistake TWICE. I swore to myself I would never be on the wrong side of the law again. It is the absolute worst feeling. For anyone who has not “gone thru the system” be thankful you have not experienced it.

  3. USA

    Amen! Sorry for the typos!

  4. Janice Bellucci

    As a graduate of SDSU, I am very proud of the university for publishing such an enlightened and thoughtful article. I certainly was not aware of this issue as an undergraduate. I am so glad that the “new” generation is aware of and thinking logically about such an issue. Bravo!

  5. Bluewall

    Wow.. I love the article.. I have been grateful that I have the support of my family and went thru a rehabilitation programs to no end.. Job assistance and college.. And it has been 10 years and I live a near a normal life.. But the residency laws make it difficult no matter how much support network and program supports.. This is where the flaw is.. Residency restrictions..

  6. Marc

    I do agree the flaw is in the residency restrictions and the life time registration. I to have been in the system and at 23 years old now I never want to go back. I work two jobs and am in College full time. I want to make a change for all of us and no longer live by these harsh laws.

  7. allias

    There are 12 registered sex offenders whose addresses are in Calimesa, according to the Megan’s Law website. The law applies to new sex offenders.
    So let me get this straight you have 12 that’s all, oh my! Ohhh scary, so those 12 will be able to celebrate trick or treat, only new people won’t, huh! So how many new people do you think you’ll have, PE out of the 12 in Calimesa you named one why not all 12, why is whinningham so special, as a reporter for the PE you should check your facts , there hasn’t been one type of kid crime all the Halloweens , for the ones that get out on the day of this unconstitutional law goes into effect , if you are not on probation any longer and all you have to do is register, don’t be scared and celebrate Halloween “ take the fines (Violators of the ordinance could face administrative citations or prosecution) what do you got to lose , all of you , who aren’t there yet , because you do not have future offenders yet , nor does anyone know if you will have future offenders ,so far there’s is none…… except the dirty dozen that are living there now , and they are in the clear to trick or treat, so your law is stupid.

  8. Bruce

    I second everything that USA wrote. I am not so eloquent with words as he/she is. We as a society, have to make some fundamental changes regarding how we react to someone incarcirated and coming back to society. As was mentioned earlier, someone who is a revolving door in the court system has to be dealt with. But….someone who makes one mistake, pays for that mistake should be given a a chance to blend into society without shackles on. If we are a Christian society as most say we are then we should be able to forgive. Prohibiting someone from living where they want, prohibiting them from beaches, parks, libraries and movie theatres is helping or protecting who? As USA said….treat someone like an animal and they will act lke an animal.

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