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Sex Registries as Modern-Day Witch Pyres



Perhaps the most irrefutable statement that can be made about modern day America is this: we have a penchant for putting people in cages. More than any other nation on the planet, we rely on incarceration as the fix for our social ills.

America’s unprecedented prison boom spawned advocates who work tirelessly to put the police state toothpaste back into the tube. As a result, despite a steady media diet of cops and robbers police procedurals, the rhetoric on crime policy has begun to shift. The country appears to be approaching something akin to apostasy. We have begun to lose our faith in imprisonment as an effective response to problems like drug addiction. For the first time since the data was tracked, state and federal prison populations declined in 2014, albeit slightly, from historic highs.

Yet amidst this wave of reform, one group of people continue to languish in the collective “harsher is better” mindset: sex offenders.


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  1. AlexO

    Great piece. Too bad SCOTUS seems to not care. Every day its easier and easier to understand how one can become radicalized in this brave new world.

  2. Registry Rage

    What really, really irks me is that society is operating under the false assumption that a sex offender’s freedom is some kind of conditionary privilege. In reality, boasting the registry as a “useful tool” and necessary to “protect” children is a logical fallacy. It’s an unnecessary evil and a tactical failure.

    • Tim Moore

      “It’s an unnecessary evil and a tactical failure.”
      We need to keep saying something like this whenever and to whomever we can. It can’t be refuted, because it is fact. Get it out there.

      • New Person

        From an all convict perspective, this is a “separate, but equal b/c it’s regulatory”.

        So whenever someone counters with the SCOTUS said it was constitutional, then you can retort with “was separate, but equal constitutional”? Was slavery constitutional for the whole nation before the civil war? Were Japanese internment camps constitutional before the Korematsu case?

        This separate, but equal b/c it’s regulatory idea rings true for those in CA pertaining to 1203.4, which was supposed to restore you back to your state before your conviction as it relieves all penalties and disabilities from the conviction. Everyone else who qualifies for the immunity program gets the immunity with specific exception within 1203.4, as stated word for word. For registrants, it doesn’t say it doesn’t relieve you from registering. It states that in another statute not within 1203.4. So the only part of the immunity registrants get is they can say their case is dismissed and nothing more.

        Oddly, CA Constitution has a built-in equal protections for immunity statute, Ca Const., Art 1, Sec 7b. This is supposed to prevent “separate, but equal” immunities b/c it immunities for all or for none of the convicted.

        Anyhow, Janice was correct about a few years ago in a Sex Offender conference about denoting how the US Government got it wrong before. This is what all those who are against the registry must constantly re-iterate – show the SCOTUS has been wrong before. They are wrong today and here are the substantial proofs, including using false data to create an improper depiction of a variance of crimes to be classified into one category: monster.

  3. kind of living

    great article ,

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