At least one Independent Senator is not in support of the names of sexual offenders going public.
Sophia Chote, SC, said that this has the potential of opening the floodgates for vigilante justice in T&T.
Chote made the comment in the Senate on Tuesday during her contribution on the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill to create a sexual offenders registry.
She said making the names of sexual offenders public will also stigmatise the name of the convicted person.
“So if the T&T Police Service has a list of sexual offenders, then, certainly that is going to help them identify who may have perpetrated a particular crime and bring that person to justice. To me, that is more in the public’s interest than putting something up on the web in a police station.”
She cited a 2007 US article entitled a “comparison of sexual offenders and the non-offending public” which showed that half of the sex offenders who were interviewed claimed they received “threats, had their property damaged and had been physically assaulted and ran out of town basically as a result of public disclosure.”
Chote said it meant that if vigilantes know someone had committed a sexual offence which goes public, they would not have any guilt of administering their own justice.