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Illusion of Safety

When two registered sex offenders wearing GPS tracking devices were arrested on suspicion of killing four women, the Orange County Register launched an investigation into how this could happen in a state in which Jessica’s Law proponents promised: “GPS monitoring could have saved Jessica Lunsford’s life.” The result was a series of articles documenting dangerous gaps in an overburdened system that promised more than it could deliver. Here is a story that pulls together what the Register discovered. Full Article

Join the discussion

  1. Eric Knight

    Basically, a long drawn-out article that proves two things:

    1. Law enforcement was stymied and keystone-copped for the entire spree until they got a break with regard to GPS.

    2. Yet, GPS did NOT solve the problem.

    But the biggest disappointment of all is this:

    But Estepp’s mother also wants broad change, though her efforts have a different focus. After Cano and Gordon’s trial, she said, she plans to push for a “Jarrae’s Law” that would help prostitutes leave the streets and make soliciting a prostitute a registered sex offense. Pier-Estepp also wants to improve sex offender supervision in California and is researching what kind of proposal to support.

    As usual, the problem is to create MORE of what ADDS to the problem in the FIRST place through unconstitutional fiat. I’m surprised the reporter didn’t mention this obvious paradox with regard to the purported theme of the entire article.

  2. Guy

    I find the title and theme of the article ironic (if not also tragic). The thrust of the article seems to be that the problem is not in the legal framework that applies to sex offenders, but that it failed to prevent these killings (assuming they are, indeed, guilty — it would not surprise me in the least if there is a statistically significant difference between SOs and others in terms of wrongful convictions).

    The whole point of the registry, and the panoply of local, state, and federal restrictions is to provide people with the illusion of safety. Study after study confirms that the registry has nil effect on sexual violence, and may actually make the problem of sexual violence worse, yet it remains an extremely popular “solution.”

    Because it gives people the illusion of safety and control over something that is undeniably frightening. Methinks people prefer the illusion, strangely enough even if it actually leaves them less safe.

    • Timmr

      I don’t wish to see anyone murdered, but they spend way to much time and resources trying to prevent these most horrible and aberrant crimes, the crimes, by their very rarity are the least likely to prevent. It’s kind of like trying to figure out how you’re going to prevent children from being struck by lightning, by while ignoring that they first need a roof over their head, a nutritious meal and a loving family. We need to focus on the prevalent, yet less violent crimes that are adversely affecting people on a more regular basis (those violations that happen in the families and community structures, and deal with them with a humane amount of punishment, combined with therapy, restitution. This will achieve a restoration of dignity for all involved. If we made a concerted effort to do this, (instead of viewing every sex crime no matter how minor, as a prelude to murder, and every murder as a regular happening, to be feared daily, and treating every person who has broken a sex law as the next serial rapist/murderer), then maybe we will have happier people, produce less damaged individuals, and therewith reduce even the most extreme crimes.

  3. Tired of hiding

    They want the system to “fail” in order to keep the fear level to red. Why else would they allow clearly murderous people freedom of movement? My iPhone has GPS…everyones phones have GPS and the government is monitoring all of us.

    Crime happens…it’s a fact and always will happen.


    GPS will not stop murderers from killing. Drunk drivers from driving or anything else. It does help find a liquor store however so keep them for that.

  4. Q

    We can intellectualize the GPS issue all we want; as press, parole, etc are doing. The bottom line is GPS is about as reliable and effective as a flat tire on a race car; it just doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. Why does the obvious seem to escape most people, like the courts, parole and probation? Because they are self serving people more concerned with themselves than serving the public. They are stupid too!!! Stupid and power/authority are like oil & water; they just don’t mix!!!!

  5. David

    I recall a TV news report a couple years ago regarding underage prostitutes in L.A. The young women were charged, but it said nothing about the “johns” being charged with L & L on a minor, etc.
    It’s a bit cynical of me, but i say yes, definitely charge the johns with S.O.s. Why? Because if everyone is on the stupid Registry, the Registry:
    1. Will become unmanageably large and, therefore, meaningless. (If everyone is an offender, then no one is an offender). And
    2. An overpopulated Registry will build our ranks and will pressure the politicians to reduce or eliminate some of the RSO laws that continue to punish us long after our sentences have been served.

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