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EDITORIAL The Pointless Banishment of Sex Offenders (Editorial)

It’s a chilling image: the sex predator skulking in the shadows of a swing set, waiting to snatch a vulnerable child.

Over the past two decades, that scenario has led to a wave of laws around the country restricting where people convicted of sex offenses may live — in many cases, no closer than 2,500 feet from schools, playgrounds, parks or other areas where children gather. In some places, these “predator-free zones” put an entire town or county off limits, sometimes for life, even for those whose offenses had nothing to do with children. Full Editorial

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  1. Q

    The only thing given by any laws aimed at anyone forced to register is “a comforting mirage” of safety. This has me scratching my head, since it’s common knowledge that none of these laws do anything, with the exception of making life that much harder for those that have completed their sentence as well as their families, and making petty elected officials with failing careers look like they are actually capable of thinking outside of the box when they keep coming up with these illegal ideas they push as necessary, in spite of the state and federal constitutions. Yes; all of these laws are pointless because not a single one of them accomplishes their state purpose. When will the courts wake up?

    • LM

      The only thing the registry gives those worrywart soccer moms is the illusion of normalcy, false reassurance, false sense of relief and fleeting psychological comfort in know where “those” people live.

      I find it hilarious they want to know where sex offenders live, yet they leave their own kids in hot cars, leave loaded guns in the house, smoke cigarettes around them and feed them a steady diet of artery-clogging fast food.

      Yup, sounds like a responsible mother to me. It’s the “hardest” job in the world after all..

  2. steve

    First the Washington Post now NY Times. Things are going to turn. Maybe we should focus on eliminating lifetime regestries and then go after registration as a whole.

  3. G4Change

    BOOM!!! Awesome Op-Ed.

  4. New Person

    Here’s a poignant quote from the article:

    “The United States Supreme Court has not yet weighed in on residency restrictions, although a 2003 ruling upholding mandatory registration for sex offenders suggested that such laws may violate the Constitution.”

    Essentially, the registrations allows the Constitutional rights of those registered to be abridged – and the 2003 ruling says that it’s okay to infringe upon said Constitutional rights such as equal protection and unwarranted, unnecessary registration as a form of search without proper cause. Again, the reason for allowing such trampling of Constitutional rights is due to the basis that the re-offense rate of sex offenders was “frightening and high” at 80%. Yet, there are numerous statistical analysis that on the opposite extreme. The problem we have is no one is really pushing these substantiated facts and posing how the Supreme Court was relying upon false facts.

    Not many will want to fight for us despite empirical evidence and proof that registration is in fact punishment as Alaska and Oklahoma have passed state laws saying it’s unconstitutional to their state constitution, but never testing it upon a federal level.

    Back to the article… since banishment is unconstitutional and a part of registration, then what else that is permitted that is unconstitutional? This article is writing what has already transpired. It’s great to start informing people. But I hope there’s a follow up to find out what other possible constitutional rights are abridged for those forced to register.

    • Timmr

      Even if the rate of re-offense was 80% then maybe longer sentences would be justified for new offenses or better rehabilitation, education, more research, public awareness, etc, but that doesn’t justify taking away an individual’s Constitutional rights after they paid for the crime (the government, as a representative of the people, has no rights, just duties). If that were the case, any group can be created around a shared characteristic, and that group regulated as a dangerous entity, whether backed up by facts or just intuition. The government can only regulate actions not a person’s identity.

    • Q

      “such laws may violate the Constitution?!?!?!???” OMG!!!! Where did these people go to school?

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