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Commentary

Making Headlines: The criminal legal system is massively punitive toward people who commit sex offenses

Source: inquest.org 4/8/22

The death threats started almost immediately. On April 3, 2020, The New York Post published the story of our case under an impossibly salacious headline: “Child rapist ordered released to keep him safe from coronavirus.” The article was no better, describing the underlying crime in vivid detail while underplaying how its subject’s multiple, severe medical issues made him vulnerable to COVID, and that the sentence being served was not actually for the crime itself, but rather for so-called “technical” violations of probation. The Post had apparently noticed earlier articles in The Appeal and The Boston Globe — which had both rightly emphasized the obvious injustice and life-threatening danger at the heart of the case — and decided to take the story in another direction. It was that version of the story that spread around the world, from Peru to Brazil to Italy.

In the aftermath, the two of us, the client and his lawyer, were both attacked and threatened. Our hope in sharing what we went through during those early days of the pandemic is to shed some light on how attempting to attain a measure of simple justice can be punishing, daunting, even life-altering. How so many trapped in our system of mass caging seldom get the attention our case did. How even when attention is given, it can become its own form of punishment. And how our laws, practices, and institutions are massively punitive toward people who commit sex offenses. All of this is by design, and largely for political reasons. Any perception of leniency, or even mere humanity, toward someone our society deems repugnant becomes a liability.

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“Any perception of leniency, or even mere humanity, toward someone our society deems repugnant becomes a liability.

That right there is the problem. No elected official will touch this issue for fear it will spell their last day in office. They can even justify it to themselves: think how much good they can do in office but they’ll have to ignore this issue. Look at the ridicule Judge Jackson received by members of congress for her attempts to at fair sentencing for sex offenders.

Excellent article. I found this tidbit interesting by the source who wrote it: “As the Justice Department has put it: “Increasing the severity of punishment does little to deter crime.”” Kinda extends to the registry if one would look at it in such a way because it is true where the science proves it. The rest of the data sheet confirms it.

Justice Jackson got the harsh treatment because she did her job in line with others of the same position with the Senators being pissed at her because she did exactly what a Judge should do and which SCOTUS said she should do, regardless of what the case was. They’d expect nothing less if they or someone they knew was in the defendant’s chair when it came time to sentence.

Senators don’t like to be cherry-picked either in their voting history when it comes to election season. However, I believe maybe this election season and future ones with the current SJC membership, who were harsh, maybe, they should be questioned just as harshly as they performed this confirmation round.

Last edited 2 months ago by TS

“…..massively punitive..” Can we please use appropriate English adverbs when creating a title? The system itself is massive and the database driven infrastructure is a part of it. The electronic infrastructure enables so much. Judges & the system can work, or are forced to work, increasingly larger case loads mostly because of it. The cases are dispatched by plea outs mostly making real culpability non existent. And there is obvious increases in internet enabled crimes which exist solely because we’ve enabled it by adopting the database infrastructure without certain safety precautions. The development of sex offender registry regime was about utilizing the DDI to protect the people from sexual attack. But as it turned out, the adoption of unfettered database application enabled far more kinds of interpersonal attack, including sexual attack than it has circumvented. Human trafficking networks, both lawful and unlawful, have increased precisely because the communication availability brought with it new human markets. American IT firms, for example, are regularly seeking potential employees from certain foreign countries known for technical training. Same goes for the increase in the market for child pornography or porn in general no matter how you define the terms. I am certain there is no shortage of model labor in that market and there is so little left to the imagination.

this article that Government dishes out is stepping out of line on many of these issues of the sex registry. Add to this is the pandemic of this Covid issue that man really doesn’t know where it came from. Yes one has legislative Justice, judicial justice, and the executive justice Where is justice today with this registry law or sex offender issue in some bicameral writings of laws to be passed. Do we all have equal representation or proportional or is the plea deal or “pro se” type of argument.

Guess government uses their tricks of the trade to influence others today in much of this vindictive or punitive justice measure from the small computer operation to protect and serve or to the hands on situations to justify the means. One can say in many ways who is balancing the act. Are many of the prison sentences a measure of their justification or is it a I don’t think your ready for general population. We will just barbwire you up for another year or so till we think you are ready. As Anklebiter said we are learning a lesson or should we fear evil. Guess it depends on your database.

While this covid issue has brought about a bit of change it still seems much of this registry issue in many states have problems in this punishment phase. Look at the issues of the Vietnam war, the discrimination issues of the past events of a get out of jail free card by some Don’s. Is that equal justice or blind callousness in American Government.

If a government don’t have true principals and a firm foundation many things can go wrong in government. Sure Christian morals and true values can go a long way even in transgression type laws.

Here‘s a guy making headlines. And it’s only [people with a] sex [offense] who are required to report their online entities. Take a look at the comments section. Sheeeeesh! I guess that post on NARSOL was right. Blood is running in the streets.! Just don’t go thinking the internet will fix it.

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