It’s rare to find a progressive trend in our Republican-dominated legislature, but their recent effort (House Bill 301) to downsize Missouri’s “sex offender registry” is laudable, even as Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto is perplexing.
Registering “sex offenders” (far too broadly defined) is based on the questionable idea that they are more likely to offend once released — even though a U.S. Department of Justice study of criminal recidivism rates showed many convicted of sex-related offenses had lower rates of re-arrest compared to other criminals.
We don’t require armed robbers or other felons to register on a public list; rather they serve their sentences and (hopefully) re-integrate into society. And that is the main problem with registering “sex offenders.” Branding all of them for life can only make it more difficult to become normal members of society upon release. Full Article