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CaliforniaGeneral News

Big headlines make bad laws (Opinion)

When horrific and ugly crimes make headlines, politicians like to seize the opportunity — to make their own headlines. So when Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky sentenced former Stanford student Brock Turner, now 21, to six months in jail — he served only three months — for sexually assaulting a woman who was too inebriated to consent to sex in 2015, California lawmakers did not hesitate. The same California Legislature that just passed the Restorative Justice Act, which touted alternatives to incarceration, shamelessly passed two tough-on-crime laws. Both are now on the governor’s desk. Full Opinion Piece

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  1. Friend of RSOL

    This is fantastic – I have never been a fan of Debra Saunders on other issues – but I am so proud of her and SFGate for this column.

    This is her second column dealing with the registry, if I am not mistaken.

    • NPS

      Indeed this is her second column on the issue. She is also a conservative, so to see her write on this topic and criticize the registry and legislature is definitely a pleasant surprise.

  2. Eric Knight

    I don’t find it too surprising. Too many people are absolutely ignorant of Constitutional authority because of their partisan instinct to always categorize actions according to political entity, not truth.

    In fact, anything that detracts from the original intent of the US Constitution, and the 58 state and territory constitutions that further refine this great document, is the real culprit. A constitutionalist is most probably associated with conservativism, but not necessarily a Democrat or Republican in nature, where most of the politicians (and unfortunately sheeple) reside. I’m not even talking of ANY political party, be it Green, Independent, even Libertarian. I’m talking about common sense here.

    Unfortunately, and perhaps expectantly, most people are one-dimensional when it comes to children and rationality. It is, in fact, human nature to protect children at all costs; they DO represent the continuation of our species, to a point where even their safety supercedes our own. This one-dimensional approach, by definition, borders on irrationality, which of course is the basis for understanding why people cannot render sensible standards when it comes to sex offender laws.

    And political forces trump even that irrationality, particularly on conservatives. This is now at a point where courageous thought and action cannot be taken lightly. Kudows to Saunders for her article, as she has received tremendous amount of flak not only from liberals but her conservative peers; that is, those conservatives still blindsided with the irrational behavior about protecting their kids at all costs, even if by rational standards, what they are doing is actually creating a WORSE place for their children in the long run.

    • Timmr

      Quite true, but also those totalists who are calling for the absolute protection of the child are themselves limiting their options to one solution — subjegation of the offender. This application may bring about some disincentive to break the law, but if it is applied with capriciousness and malice, it loses it’s effectiveness and moral authority. The people look then like nothing better or even more brutish than the supposed monsters they punish.

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