Heated debate over tougher punishment for sex crimes as some worry it could unfairly affect California’s minorities

High-profile cases have spurred a number of bills now before Brown, many of which like the proposal championed by Sanchez, would provide tougher penalties and repercussions against defendants in sex crimes. But their approval is not an easy task at a time when California and a number of advocacy groups and associations are reevaluating the effectiveness of strict punishment policies. Full Article

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Story now posted on the LA Times Website (certainly will be in the newspaper tomorrow) giving an overview of more and more bills coming out of the legislature calling for harsher sentences for sex crimes and broader definitions of sex offenses — and takes a significant part of its overview pointing out the arguments that all this significantly impacts poorer people and minorities disproportionately. (One person was quoted as saying that in practice, mandatory prison sentences simply become a ceiling for rich people and a floor for poor people.) simply because they are wrong, they are bad only because poor and minority people get the worst of it, so it seems to the saying they are bad solely because they are not equally applied, not because they simply are too harsh in and of themselves. (I’m disappointed that the thrust of the article seems to be that harsh sentences are not bad. I think they need to be shown to be too harsh no matter.)

The gist seems to be that there is more attention now to the idea that this needs to be reviewed, that the impact on both victims and offenders needs to be reconsidered. That rehabilitation for both the victim and the offenders needs more attention – but it clearly does not suggest any pullback on sentences or other stuff against offenders. And it is focusing on sex offenses, not criminals overall.

It points out that more and more legislation and ballot measure to harshen the treatment of sex offenders keep coning, and there are even several bills to harshen penalties for sex offenders on the (California) governor’s desk now awaiting his action to sign them into law or not. It notes they all sailed right through the Legislature (as I recall, they passed unanimously).


Overall, it points out that more attention is now being focused on taking a new look at these matters, but it seems to point out that it is coming down to continuing to hit hard on the penalty side, while also looking to do more to actually “rehabilitate” people, both victims and perpetrators.

Overall, it is a situation piece. It does not reach any conclusion that the tide is turning, at most only suggests that both sides will be getting attention. In other words, beat the crap out of the offender until he/she is near death and keep them suffering in that situation as long as possible and make that even longer still, and on then consider giving them rehabilitation so they can walk again — but if they should trip at any time, you will torture them to death. And help the victims too, what happens to the offender can impact the victims. It sounds to me like a mix of insanity and too-little-too-late. (Hey, if you are going to recognize the beating the hell out of the offender is not work, be rehabilitation is needed to stop them, then it seems to me to continue the beating and even make it worse is insane and nothing other than sadism. Like I always say, generally speaking at last, sex offenses don’t even belong in the criminal justice system, send them to the medical system, and they can get rehab there – they’re generally sent to that anyway, as a condition of probation or parole.)

The article indicates their are pieces of hope, and just as many or more pieces of despair. More and more of the worst approach is going on, but there are some people pushing to actually do something that might help all the people involved.

Yes….THAT’S the problem with it. Maybe they will make it unconstitutional for minorities to be forced to register.

The appetite for punishment is never sated in those for whom reason does not exist.

We should note that, to its very great credit, the ACLU is opposing this flurry of pile-on laws that are demanded by the braying hordes. We must give thanks to them even if we find them missing in action on Registry issues. Let us hope that this is not a fleeting aberration but instead, signals a shift in its policy direction and priorities.

Will Jerry Brown possess the fortitude to veto these terrible bills? It seems unlikely.

We are more reliant upon the courts than ever before and at the same time as the mob is taking away more of their discretion.

Silly ol’ me, I thought the “new and evolving registry” was “tougher punishment”?

The whole playing field could be leveled by giving out “White Priviledge” demerits depending on your level on non ethnicity and these could be adjusted to make it completely fair and everybody happy .

Its a good opinion by the Dean School of Law UCIrvine Erwin Chemerinsky in ocregister and also part of a large group of legal scholars asking the US Justice department to investigate Orange county DA office on misconduct.