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When the sex offender registry goes too far

You may have heard about questionable instances of people being put on a sex offender registry: teenagers having sex with other teenagers, overly curious children touching each other’s private parts, someone urinating in public. These are hardly the pedophiles and violent criminals who abduct and rape the innocent, but oftentimes they are subject to the same stringent restrictions on where to live and shop and the same stigma that makes finding a job very difficult. The case of Zachary Anderson helps to illustrate the failure of this one-size-fits-all punishment. …

Let’s change the laws and focus on using the sex offender registry to punish violent criminals and child predators, not to destroy the lives of teenagers (and their families) for having consensual sex with other teens or of drunken knuckleheads peeing on the side of a building. Full Opinion Piece (OC Register)

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  1. Q

    Adam B Summers / staff columnist is just one more disturbed individual with a keyboard and a platform to spew his deceptive filth. He is saying that it’s alright to destroy an adult life but not a minors life (it’s not OK to destroy anyone’s life based on myth). This article is very deceptive, calling for some things that actually make sense, like removing the Romeo and Juliette type of registrant from the registry, as well as others and in the next paragraph advocating ex post facto punishment.

    I don’t think we need this clown out there further rousing the rabble. What he is calling for (use the registry for punishment) is already alive and thriving, like the plague. He doesn’t even touch on any of the truths of the registry, like it’s been a total and complete FAIL when it comes to it’s stated purpose, or the fact that there is not one single documented case of the registry ever preventing anything, or helping anyone, with the exception of politicians and victims rights groups, as well as the treatment industry that has sprung out of the registry, and anyone else looking for an easy way to get federal funds; and it has never saved “just one child” or anyone else from anything.

    This joker needs to get his facts straight. Where does he get “Zach Johnson?” The case he is talking about centers around “Zachery Anderson.”

    The judge and prosecutor in the Zachery Anderson case were total A-Hole’s. They basically prosecuted a case where there was no victim (by her own admission). Totally ignoring the facts and instead punished Zachery Anderson based on their dislike of on-line dating services as evidenced in this statement below.

    ““You went online, to use a fisherman’s expression, trolling for women to meet and have sex with,” Judge Wiley lectured during sentencing. “That seems to be part of our culture now: meet, hook up, have sex, sayonara. Totally inappropriate behavior. There is no excuse for this whatsoever.””

    It seems the judge failed to recognize that this is what young people have been doing for millennia (hook up, have sex; even before computers). And then went on to impose 61 sanctions that effectively destroyed this young mans life. If the courts would impose a fraction of the sanctions Zachery Anderson is now forced to endure on real criminals like gang bangers, drunk drivers and drug dealers, as well as murderers maybe their misguided desire to do good would actually be realized.

    • LM

      I’m starting to the think the Federal judges know fully well Megan’s Law is a feckless boondoggle, but they continue to circle the wagon around it out fear of retaliation. They don’t want their name to be attached to a legal precedent that will be instrumental in it’s demise. Quite simply, they don’t want to pull out a block in this convoluted Jenga tower. They’d rather perpetuate the cycle of unfounded fear than have the so-called child “safety” advocates whining about how it would make children “less safe” if the registry came down. NONSENSE.

      • Q

        So true. These are NOT honorable men and women (Federal judges). They claim their hands are tied; but I don’t believe that for a minute. I think you are right, they lack the courage to stand up for truth. Or they get paid behind closed doors to perpetuate the lie. Where have all our real men gone? How has it come to this?; Instead of men and women of honor, we have liars and cowards, cons and self serving opportunists in positions of power. We also have a population of fools that don’t know when they are being lied to, and they believe whatever they are told; they don’t have enough common sense to measure what they are being told against cold hard facts.

        “The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” ― Plato

  2. David

    Excellent article in OC Register (of all places!!) @ Q, I must respectfully and completely disagree with you. We need more voices of reason – like Mr. Summers’ – bringing this issue to public attention. If it’s the Zachary Johnson case that starts this conversation, that’s fine with me. I’m just very glad to hear someone starting the conversation.
    (I hope someone with a Facebook account will post a comment on the OC Register’s website for this editorial.)

    • Q

      David; With all due respect I think you should re-read the article a few times until you see what it’s saying. It’s talking about you/us!

      Critical thinking man!

  3. D

    David – yes this is good for being in OC, but it is still far from the position that should be taken.

    LM – I have a feeling that some judges are making these harsh punishments to get a case like this in the news where there can be outrage at it.

  4. Ostracized Witch

    Conservative newspaper O.C. Register? Who would have EVER believed they would publish an editorial decrying the insanity and obvious over-reaching of California’s SO Registry! What exactly IS the usefulness of this immense listing? How can any victim utilize the information gleaned from this humungous listing which includes the full range of sex offense perpetrators?

    • Q

      Hi Ostracized Witch

      It looks to me like another thinly veiled call to keep the punitive measures in place. The author is using kids in this emotional appeal. You will notice –

      “Let’s change the laws and focus on using the sex offender registry to punish violent criminals and child predator”

      If this article was really about kids the above statement would/should not have been made. Especially since the registry is already very punitive. Even though everyone from the top on down to governors and states know it’s punitive; they just call it civil and do lie.

      • Timmr

        “Let’s change the laws and focus on using the sex offender registry to punish violent criminals and child predator”
        Yes, Q, this has always been the battle cry to get registry laws passed. That and what follows, “and this time we are going to get it right.” They have never gotten it right and will continue to make it worse, because the idea of a registry itself is the evil, not what shape it takes.

        • Q

          Hi Timmr

          Agreed on all points. I don’t see how “and this time we are going to get it right” will ever happen, especially since it’s pretty obvious they nver knew what they were doing in the first place.

    • Timmr

      “How can any victim utilize the information gleaned from this humungous listing which includes the full range of sex offense perpetrators?”
      Well, maybe the victim can use the vastness of the registry to verify that feeling of being vastly in danger, which supports the belief he will always be a victim under vast circumstance he can never really control, and therefore he would need a vast infrastructure of laws to keep that vast danger at a distance, and lull him to sleep at night. Why would one want to be a lifelong victim? Well, ironically, it might be the same reason someone shuns the well being of others and harms others and offends against others, to avoid taking responsibility for one’s life and one’s actions and one’s flaws. The registry is license for the disenfranchised to be both “victim and executioner” giving some sense of power over the sense of nothingness and self loathing.

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