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Reforming the Registry

Since 1994, when Congress first ordered states to create sex offender registries, the laws in the United States about sex crimes have steadily ratcheted up. We now have what experts say is the most draconian regime in the world. As we’ve tried to show in Slate this week, legislators have repeatedly expanded the definition of a sex offender, extended the periods of time for which offenders must register, and toughened the consequences of registration. And they have done all this even though these laws rest on flawed stereotypes, not solid evidence. Full Article

Part 5 of a 5 part series

August 11, 2014
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/08/sex_offender_registry_laws_have_our_policies_gone_too_far.html

August 12, 2014
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/08/mapped_sex_offender_registry_laws_on_statutory_rape_public_urination_and.html

August 13, 2014
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/08/sex_offender_registry_laws_by_state_mapped.html

August 14, 2014
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/08/several_states_ban_people_in_the_sex_offender_registry_from_a_bizarre_list.html

August 15,2014
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/08/sex_offender_registries_the_best_ideas_for_reforming_the_law.html

Join the discussion

  1. Q

    The most draconian regime in the world? I’ll second that! It’s also upsetting that “they have done all this even though these laws rest on flawed stereotypes, not solid evidence,” “there is little empirical proof that sex offender registries and notification make communities safer” pretty much says what many of us caught in this tangled web of confusion have known and have been saying for quite a while.

    I wonder what it’s going to take for lawmakers and the general population to see how counterproductive the current view is. Will they ever realize that they can’t regulate through legislation and incarceration the basic human sex instinct? This is what things have come to, and even children are fair game, even though it all started to supposedly protect society from dangerous predatory people, which are relatively few in number in relation to all the people caught up in this state sanctioned witch hunt.

    I totally believe public perceptions does pose a significant challenge to change because it seems the majority of people are so stupid they’ll believe anything they are told to believe. Most of these people and many of the politicians/liars that have taken this lie to the depths depravity and moral perversion it’s at now have what can only be viewed as a warped type of intelligence; I think their brains do not function properly because they willingly choose and place ignorance above seeking truth; a sure fire indicator that this is not of God, because He is not the author of confusion, lies or deceit.

    I agree with Wetterling that we are human beings that made a mistake (at least in this society) but I am appalled that she would think that I would ever wish to be a part of any culture so full of ignorant people and stupid fools or that I need any kind of “treatment.” It’s her and her kind that are sorely in need of “treatment.” I believe the people in this “culture” are on the left hand of Him; they are the goats.

    Matthew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.’ ”

    Matthew 25:41 “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels :”

    Matthew 25:42 “For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink:”

    Matthew 25:43 “I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick and in prison, and ye visited Me not.”

    If anyone is offended by the above quotes, I’m sorry for you.

  2. ab

    I am extremely happy with the series slate has done over the past week. Finally someone is taking a serious look into the insanity of the United States justice system and the fetish like obsession society has with sex offenses. Unfortunately the conversation hasn’t even started yet but every time these factual articles come up a little more foundation is laid.

    Unlike most other people I question the nature of why various sex offenses are seen sex offenses and which data has been used to validate the current perspective on the issues surrounding these acts. Rape, molestation, exploitation, and mistreatment are inexcusable no matter the circumstances. Also it matters not if it is a person, animal, plant, or the environment that is being damaged all mistreatment should be taken seriously. By the same token I nor any other rational agent ought to jump to baseless conclusions or hypotheses without first treading cautiously through all the biased harmful points of view to uncover the truth however uncomfortable and controversial it might be. In other words just because someone says or writes something doesn’t mean it is true 100% of the time. Despite public and legal opinions this includes exploring the possibility that even though something is illegal does not mean someone was harmed or victimized. Look at the recent sexting cases where teenagers took photos of themselves and sent them to significant others and/or friends who did the same. Sure under the law they produced, distributed, and possessed child pornography. Though it’s a ridiculous suggestion that they are both the perpetrators and victims of their own actions. I mean just to make a fool out of legal system they should if prosecuted (with the help of defense attorney’s) seek restitution from themselves.

    How stupid is it that the age of consent in some States is sixteen, others seventeen, and still others eighteen? World wide it ranges from within marriage only to 9 on the low and 21+ on the high end. There’s a documentary (which anyone with Netflix) can find really easily. It’s called “are all men pedophiles?” I recommend anyone interested in sex offenses issues watch it because all the general bases get covered from a scientific perspective. Let’s just say the filmmaker does a great job showing how out of touch world wide society is with reality and reminds everyone watching of one fact often lost in the background noise….I won’t spoil the fact here. Should anything be the starting place for a conversation about the problem with sex offense laws it’s regarding the one key fact. Then asking which approaches might be better for resolving the currently flawed system.

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