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MT: Bill Would Cap Jail Time for 18-Year-Olds Who Have Consensual Sex with Other Teens at ‘Just’ 5 Years

It is a measure of how insane our sex offender laws have become, to announce that this proposed bill in Montana is a relief. Senate Bill 26 would prevent 18-year-olds who have consensual sex with other teens under the age of consent (younger than 16, but at least age 14) from needing to register as sex offenders. It would also cap the time they can possibly serve in prison at just five years. Full Article

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Why 18? Why not 19 or some other age? Was 18 just an arbitrary age picked or was there some thought behind it? How is a 19 year old’s offense worse than an 18 year old’s offense?

Probably the same reasoning that went into the 2000 foot residency restriction. It just sounded like a good number. There was absolutely no logic, rhyme or reason behind it. Every person will be different and almost anyone will agree this is true.

There has been some research into this. Essentially, it has been found just as you say, that sentences were generally formulated in multiples of five years and for no practical basis, let alone some empirical research that supports a particular sentence length.

The truth is that it is very easy to come up with these sentences when you’re not going to be the one serving them.

American sentencing is wildly impulsive and reactive and guided by nothing but uninformed fury. Let’s hope that that is one of the things that gets addressed in sentencing reform.

Seems to be the way America attempts to solve perceived problems with behavior. Throw them in jail. Both political parties have that tunnel vision, although they differ slightly on who needs to be “corrected”. Any research into weather a five year sentence pevents more crime than a four year sentence, or is it all a convenient way to make simpletons feel good and gain approval, hense votes?

A parallel…

Why can some DA’s push for someone under 18 to be acting as an adult in some cases? This is very arbitrary as it suits whatever the DA wants as there isn’t any consistency.

This is exactly what has bugged me for a very long time. On the one hand, numerous studies have proven that areas of the brain responsible for decision-making, impulse control, and reasoning are not fully developed until early adulthood (early 20s), which is the primary reasoning for laws forbidding minors from giving consent or signing contracts, etc. Then on the other hand, the government can arbitrarily decide that a minor accused of a serious offense can be held to adult standards of responsibility. The double standard makes my head hurt. Minors don’t possess adult-level cognition under any circumstance, not just… Read more »

The state is also admitting that at least under some circumstances a minor can give consent. It is also saying you can still go to jail for consensual sex.

Yet, they’d be lifetime registrants regardless. If I could have taken 20 years prison instead of lifetime registration, I would have. Instead, I took my “freedom” when the registry was not nearly as severe as it has become.

How about this:

Stop clustering middle and high schools and community colleges together. Also stop clustering grades together in schools. Also, when a person turns 18, they should be pushed directly to college. The cut off should match the laws. This has always baffled me. The laws don’t fit realty at all.

why jail time at all! Why do we place so much value on a vagina! It wasn’t that long agao in my life time that girls ages 14 or there about’s were getting married, as they do in many countries around the globe. We’re talking basic primal instincts,it’s not unnatural! If there is an aggrieved party let them sue in court, or settle the matter “out-back.” When these sex offender laws first began, places like Kansas had a hell of a time with their laws–they were suddenly jailing young men for things like this when the age of consent was… Read more »

That’s too much common sense. We aren’t allowed or encouraged to use that in this country. How dare you say someone under 18 has any concept of what sex is, or even worse, would partake in such a heinous thing? The problem is that there are many government jobs that must be kept occupied at all times. How do you ensure that they’ll always have jobs? Create ‘Crimes’ that did not exist in human history before, and then you suddenly have an influx of people in the court system and incarceration. While we have real dangers and threats, they’re dealing… Read more »

Montana has an age of consent set at sixteen so after years and years the state discovered maybe some changes should be made. One completely brilliant idiot decided to bring a group of other “smart” individuals together so a solution could be drafted. What wonderful legislation did these forward thinking, not at all backwards, rational people write? Garbage. So even though it’s still illegal for an eighteen year old to have sexual interactions with someone under sixteen we the state of Montana recognize sometimes that consent is possible so long as the youngest person is at least fourteen. In such… Read more »

All sex offender legislation should be amended to include funding for sex offender prevention education that starts around 10 and is repeated every year until graduation. The student/former student upon their 18th birthday must sign a form acknowledging that they full understand all sex crime laws. Tie it in with Selective Service and add women. You will not be allowed to get a Regular Driver’s License, enter college, become a full time employee, retain your passport or be alone with any child until you have signed this form. Every year, students will hear testimony from victims, police and offenders about… Read more »

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