Sex Offender Registry Stupidity
I’ve come to the conclusion that the U.S. has a pretty messed up judicial system. We allow no-knock SWAT raids on non-violent offenders in the name of protecting evidence. The implication being that the evidence is more important the lives of the non-violent offenders and even the police officers. We also have spent countless resources combating the War on Drugs…a war about what people decide to put in their bodies. Yes, drugs can destroy one’s life…just as alcohol can. Yet we decided long ago the War on Alcohol was stupid so we stopped it. Not so with drugs.
Now we have a story like this. These sex offender laws are becoming not only overly harsh and broad, but also counter productive. If you can’t live within 2,000 feet of a school (a bit over 1/3rd of a mile) of a school, park, church, day care, or any other facility likely to have children present then you are pretty much exiled. This encourages sex offenders to just disappear and not stay on any registry at all. Seriously, in Florida sex offenders are ordered by the legal system to live under a bridge.
The Florida Department of Corrections says there are fewer and fewer places in Miami-Dade County where sex offenders can live because the county has some of the strongest restrictions against this kind of criminal in the country.
Florida’s solution: house the convicted felons under a bridge that forms one part of the causeway.
The Julia Tuttle Causeway, which links Miami to Miami Beach, offers no running water, no electricity and little protection from nasty weather. It’s not an ideal solution, Department of Corrections Officials told CNN, but at least the state knows where the sex offenders are.
Yes, they know where they are for now…when they finally get sick of that life and decide to leg it out of state, and try to start over? Will the new neighbors know anything about the sex offender in their midst? Will the state know? Will the authorities know? No, no, and no.
And now these laws have been extended so that even a 16 year old boy or girl who has sex with another boy or girl that is sufficiently younger can wind up on the list for life even if the sex is consensual. Here is one example, Wendy Whitaker has been listed as a sex offender for 12 year and is danger of losing her house because of a decade old blowjob. When she had just turned 17 she performed oral sex on a classmate who was 3 weeks shy of his 16th birthday.
Another stupid application of sex offender laws and registries: Boulders annual Naked Pumpkin Run runners could be charged as sex offenders and forced to register.
Another case: a 15 year old girl was arrested on child pornography charges for taking nude pictures of…herself. This girl could be forced to register as a sex offender for a very long time possibly the rest of her life.
None of the people in these three cases are a likely to present a danger to children or even adults. Making them register as sex offenders and destroying their lives is simply stupid. And even for actual sex offenders releasing them then passing laws that make it impossible to live anywhere in society is just mind boggling stupid. If they are still such a danger to society, then lock them the Hell up. Don’t release convicted criminals who are so highly likely to re-offend back into society and set up a monitoring system that is so harsh it actually encourages them to avoid registering as a sex offender.