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General News

Disgust, Dehumanization, and the Courts’ Response to Sex Offender Legislation

Sex offenders have been subject to unprecedented restrictions and punishment. The government’s treatment of sex offenders is a clear example of the dangers of laws derived from and upheld because of the emotion of disgust.

Disgust has led to a dehumanization of this category of people, which has led to a stripping of their constitutional rights. The law’s treatment of sex offenders is a clear example of why the law should eschew employing the emotion of disgust during all proceedings. In addition, the courts’, particularly the Supreme Court’s, treatment of the other branches’ actions regarding sex offenders is illustrative of why the law needs to insist upon empirical data in support of legislation and why the courts should not always defer to the other branches’ findings. Full Article (pdf) – page 8

Join the discussion

  1. mike

    That is one of the most informative and intelligent documents I’ve read on the subject of rso and legal issues associated with rso.

    • JM

      I have been involved in “the movement” for 11 years, and I too think this article sizes it up as best as any article to date.
      It actually inspired me to set up appointments with our local government officials and take them a copy.

  2. Harry

    This does get under the skin of all the RC haters. I hope this can be used.

  3. Someone who cares

    What a great article, and straight to the point. How long will it take for so many to realize that this has gotten out of hand and too far?

  4. mike

    This country is insane now. I just read a article about civil comitment and how the prosecuter has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendent has the possibility of reoffending. Wow the possibility… Anythings possible beyond a reasonable doubt.. these judges and prosecutors are insane and the public just doesn’t care about this bs since it doesn’t effect them in any way yet but if they let these violations of rights to continue soon everything our parents grandparents and all our forefathers fought for and gave their lifes to protect will be history.

  5. Timmr

    That “disgust” has permeated the whole of the RC’s life, making it nearly impossible to get justice others get, to get a job, to travel, to feel one can live a normal life. In addition, this emotional poisoning of reasonable thought has infiltrated into many an RC’s view of themselves, and I use myself as an example, having a chilling affect on most everything I do. After 15 years, I thought I would be immune to it, and get on with my life.
    The good news is that it is a state of mind and has no existence outside the mind. My family is proof of that. Although they can hate the crime, they have the perspective of viewing the person, me,in my entirety and treat as a person. We can separate ourselves from the crime in our own minds, and others can do the same by getting to know us on an individual basis. I don’t know just how this is done, but I think it is the key and prerequisite to changing the legal climate.

  6. Jo

    Wow. Just wow. I really hope this is widely read.

  7. Timmr

    I just came across this article which gives a biological explanation of stranger danger: http://www.livescience.com/49469-stress-inhibits-empathy.html. Could it be that if people got to know the offenders a little better, the laws would in turn become less harsh, because people would see the pain the laws inflict? And vice/versa, an offender would also feel a victim’s pain and be less likely to re-offend? The problem is that the media often enhances the aura of strangeness by using terms like “predator” or “monster” and even “victim”, and it would take a lot more than playing a video game to lessen the tension.
    When I first went into group therapy, part of the program had offenders in a supervised meeting with victims. It was very stressful at first, but I remember most coming out of that feeling a little more sane and at ease.
    For some reason, that program went by the wayside, maybe because funding went towards retribution and away from rehabilitation.

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