Sex Offenders

Well that would all depend on how much the jerk suffers here on earth.

Now you're talking TS :)

[This message has been edited by Flash (edited November 04, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Flash (edited November 04, 1999).]
Oxygen, Truestory ....

Answer #1: No, I've never been subjected to rape. I'm quite sure that there are people among the posters at this board who have suffered the crime themselves. However, would you care whether or not someone was raped if they agreed with you? Seems to me that if my having been raped or not in the past affects the credibility of my answer, so it goes for all of us lucky ones.

Answer #2: Truestory--you're the one who wants to act on the potential of this convict to commit another crime. That requires policing thoughts. That requires knowing what that convict is thinking, and acting on it, without evidence of the crime itself taking place. Where did I get the idea of thought police? It's a natural conclusion of what you're asking for. Yes, I know recidivism is rampant among sex offenders. But to act from that simple factoid is to go forth using a statistical model to predict human behavior. Need I explain what's wrong with that?

Answer #3: Truestory--I have no idea how many times a parent should go about "exhausting" their options for data. However, it seems it's just a matter of inconvenience. Perhaps instead of parents waiting for the police to come around and say, "Protect your children", and then go hurl bricks or whatever ... well, maybe we can start looking, as a society, for ways to decrease the number of assaults that take place. It's all good to be upset about a problem, but it seems to me that we're not doing much to change the problem itself. We're just trying to make ourselves feel better about it. But that goes beyond merely reporting offenders. That reaches all the way down to the core of our judicial system, the heart of our spiritual vision, and the base factors of our moral assumptions.

Response: Truestory--it doesn't make me feel any better or worse to turn parents into bloodthirsty hunters. It does, however, seem to make THEM feel much better.

Response: Oxygen--OK, breathe now. Do you feel better after that tirade? The difference between us here seems to be that you really want to perceive that I wish society ill, while you are entirely capable of wishing the worst onto people. Judging by the tone and content of that post, this has nothing to do with society at large, but rather with you. Otherwise, you would know better than to write some of the dumb things you did.


Gee, I'm really sorry I like the American Constitution. If y'all don't like it, change it. Whatever nation you live in, if you're not happy with how the law treats sex offenders, change the damn law. It's not impossible. It's actually quite easy. But the fact is that, at least in the US, the convict's sentence ends when it ends. Every brick thrown, window broken, toilet paper roll strung out, graffitto painted, ad nauseum--is just a bunch of bloodthirsty criminals harrassing a citizen, in the eyes of the law.

But it's simple: No cruel and unusual punishment--no matter what the crime. We "protect the criminals" (as such), because the "good people" have demonstrated throughout history that we need to protect the criminals. If it weren't for bloodlusting mobs of people setting fires and throwing bricks, maybe we wouldn't have to.

And yes, it sucks. But it's like anything else that sucks. You live with it if you can, change it if you can't. But will you cry when you spend the rest of your life in jail because your righteous rock hit the cheap bastard in the head and killed him?

So, to review: Don't like the law? Change it. Otherwise, you're nothing better than a vigilante, which idea has its' merits. But then what voice will you have when the anarchy spreads, as anarchy must? Once you've sown, will you be happy with the harvest?


"Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)

I find your position to be extremism at it's best.

Answer #2: Truestory--you're the one who wants to act on the potential of this convict to commit another crime. That requires policing thoughts. That requires knowing what that convict is thinking, and acting on it, without evidence of the crime itself taking place. Where did I get the idea of thought police? It's a natural conclusion of what you're asking for. Yes, I know recidivism is rampant among sex offenders. But to act from that simple factoid is to go forth using a statistical model to predict human behavior. Need I explain what's wrong with that?

What I am looking for is reasonableness, tiassa. Your statement that recidivism is the simple factoid is extreme. This particular individual is apparently exhibiting behavior (taking action) which is evidence of the "crime in progress". After a meeting with local law enforcement, what we do know now is that he is single, has moved into an elementary school community where more than 600 children "walk" to school, is getting up and going out in the mornings to interact with the children on a personal level and has attempted to gain the confidence of a number of childrenn already. It is part of his criminal modus operandi. Only for the timing of this individual's previous criminal activity is he shielded from being arrested for his current activity. I am not looking to hurt the criminal, tiassa, and from what I have seen of the parents, niether are they. The parents are requesting information so that they can inform their children how to readily identify this individual so that the children can be better informed and more aware of who this child-endangerer is. You have no first-hand knowledge of this situation, yet you attribute negative intennt on the part of the parents. Now who is acting as the thought police? The image of blood-thirst, fires and brick-throwing is an extreme reaction which you, alone, are conjuring up in your mind. What possible harm could come to the criminal from the parents being able to describe this man to their children and telling them to stay away/get away from him as quickly as possible if they see him on the street? If that is cruel and unusual punishment of the criminal to you, then I can understand how you perceive those who protect criminals as the "good guys" and those who protect children as the "bad guys."

Answer #3: Truestory--I have no idea how many times a parent should go about "exhausting" their options for data. However, it seems it's just a matter of inconvenience.

You have answered my question, tiassa. You don't have a clue...

Perhaps instead of parents waiting for the police to come around and say, "Protect your children", and then go hurl bricks or whatever ... well, maybe we can start looking, as a society, for ways to decrease the number of assaults that take place.

Again with the "hurling bricks"... That's a good idea, though, tiassa... find ways to decrease the number of assaults... hmmm... being readily able to tell your children who the convicted child-molester is would be a GREAT deterent and would decrease the number of assaults that take place upon children.

I guess we all choose our priorities, tiassa... you choose to protect the criminal at all costs, including the liberty and lives of innocent children in this case. The parents choose to protect their children with readily available information. Yeah, I have to agree... that makes you the "good person" and them the "bad people"... NOT.

Hey, if you don't have any children to take care of and have some extra time on your hands, could you get busy and start trying to change the laws? ;)

[This message has been edited by truestory (edited November 04, 1999).]
How about this?

Check <A HREF=""></A>. A perfect example of scarlet letter gone awry. It also mentions a certain frequency of vigilante violence associated with sex offender registries. I think Tiassa just got a little factual boost to his arguments...

I am; therefore I think.

[This message has been edited by Boris (edited November 04, 1999).]

When I was 14, I was told that my views on Free Speech were extreme. Why? Because I thought putting "warning" labels on records was a knee-jerk reaction. When I was 17, I was called an extremist because I thought the most part of my Catholic high school was laughably hypocritical. When I was 19, I was called extremist for supporting the idea of medicinal marijuana--and recreational use hadn't become a factor in that particular exchange yet.

Now I'm extremist because I don't want a society of vigilantes running around, arbitrarily exacting justice when the laws--approved either directly or by proxy by the people--fail a group of individuals' expectations.

We come again, in your example, to the language of the criminals' sentence. If there is no provision restricting his contact with minors, it's the fault of the law. If there is such a provision--and I have been led to believe that there is not--then I have no quarrel with police action to deter further crimes.

What recidivism studies look at, simply, is how many convicts commit another crime within their prior mode. What they do not look at is reasons why. So, yes, recidivism studies are mere factoids.

Now perhaps we read different newspapers. Since my first recollection of the issue, sometime in my teens, the one constant regarding the debate of public release of convict addreses, such as we're discussing here, is that entire communities have risen up to agitate the situation. Demonstrators, provocateurs, assailants ... and all of these are the "good" people. There is a Hap Kliban cartoon entitled "For Years, God Made Carl Wear a Lime Popsicle Around His Neck." It is simply that ... a picture of a man with a lime popsicle around his neck. If that's all there was to it, then fine. But the people in the communities I live in are just itching for the chance to beat a man with his own lime popsicle.

I've seen the gamut of knee-jerk laws around my corner of the US which were dedicated to protecting children. Remember the couple in Florida that got evicted from their apartment back about '92 for "indecent exposure"? Sure, they were having sex in a bathtub, but the little boy whose innocence was so offended actually had to stack lawn furniture in order to peer into their windows. Some of the laws you're referring to would follow these two adults for the rest of their lives. After all, they're sex offenders.

And as far as the Thought Police argument goes ... I expect parents to want violence in certain cases. However, I'm not going to arrest them for considering a violent crime in the manner that you would have the offenders arrested.

And something I've been trying to avoid here .... American society, for all of its excesses, is schizophrenically Puritan when it comes to sexuality. Destigmatize sexuality a little, and some of the pressures that push bent psyches over the edge disappear, too. Can you imagine being afraid that God is going to kill you every time your twelve year-old body decides to have an erection? Can you imagine being told you're wicked and sinful every time you try to figure out what your body is doing to you? I can't say, in the end, what causes this person or that to become a child molester. But I can say that the unresolved issues pointed to by the psychologists who feed the police the data regarding recidivism indicate that most child molesters are acting on issues surrounding their parents and their own sexuality. I wish I could say that if we destigmatize sex we get rid of molesters, but it's not true. But I can't recall any community ever really having the patience to try.

Do factors like poverty, racial discrimination, or family status have any bearing, say, on armed robbery? Seems to be. Now: Do any factors contribute to pedophilia? What are they? My own readings seem to point toward weird, fluffy psychobabble: Oedipus complex, latent homosexuality, absent father ... whatever. I can't say they're right, but I'm sick and tired of nobody really trying. Rather, it's fine if nobody wants to figure this out, but in the meantime, I'm left shaking my head when people ask, "Why did this happen?" Address these issues, somehow. We know that education and economy reduce certain types of violent crime. What things can we examine to reduce the number of molesters? We could just scare the hell out of children; in this case, telling them about the Demons and Devils is a good idea; but wouldn't it be better if the Demons and Devils never showed up in the first place? Or, more realistically, if there were only about a tenth or a hundredth?

You're right, we do choose our priorities. I would set a thousand murderers free in order to avoid accidentally putting an innocent man to death. Justice might be errant, but I'd rather it err toward the merciful or patient. It's not a far cry from your brand of vigilante to violent anarchy.

I'm sorry if Justice has disappointed you. However, I cannot support a form of Justice based on vengeance. If the "good" people really were capable of warning their children and leaving it as such, then yes, I could support the idea of annunciation as such. But it's not so much a trend toward inappropriate responses by the community that dismays me. Rather, I'm waiting for an exception to the rule ... I'm waiting for a community to go ahead and release these names, and then conduct itself appropriately. It'll be a while before that happens.

Simply put: Crime, arrest, investigation, trial, conviction, sentence. Sentence up? Go home. At that point the law treats the convict the same as it treats you. What you take from him, you take from yourself. Period.


PS--You're the one who's apparently disturbed about the current laws. What the heck is your excuse?
Boris ...

Thanx for the link. Any further comment I make might get me in trouble. :)


"Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
Oh, yeah, Boris. It also mentions that the registry which tiassa wants parents to spend "exhausting" time on and which she wants parents to rely on is inaccurate and can be misleading due to the limited information which it provides. What a boost! I believe it also mentions that most people would probably handle accurate and complete information in a restrained manner. While you're at it, Boris, why don't you pull up a horror story about a sexually abused child and what it has done to their life? And another about a repeat offender who was let out without restrictions and ended up perpetrating a living hell upon multiple children because his/her identity and whereabouts were not adequately disclosed?

[This message has been edited by truestory (edited November 04, 1999).]
To paraphrase Tiassa, it's better to let a thousand murderers go free, than to hang an innocent man. Horror stories or not.

And the example I provided was precisely that of an innocent man getting "hung".

Besides, what are you so vehement about? If you truly believe in Christianity, then surely you believe in forgiveness. And you should also believe that God, not an angry mob, is the ultimate administrator of justice. Which makes me wonder at your talk of vengeance (isn't that supposed to be a cardinal sin?)

I am; therefore I think.
tiassa- Whether or not you were raped makes for all the credibility in the world. It tells me that you know of what you speak.

Do I feel better after my tirade? I will never feel better as long as any living thing suffers the horrors of rape and worse without due recourse. It's bad enough that it happens, but when a rapist goes scot free, his or her victims continue to live in a prison not of their own making. If you think someone can just "get over" being raped, I recommend trying it out for yourself.

My views on the treatment of sex offenders are extreme. If you're waiting for an apology for that viewpoint, don't hold your breath. At no point do I suggest that one crime justifies another, but if the sex offender can be forgiven, so can his or her killer.

If they served their time in prison, well, what's a few years to the lifetime of hell the victim suffers? Let's say I got whacked on drugs and blew your (hypothetical} newborn's head off. I do three years because I had an abusive father. Your baby is dead. Do you call that a fair trade?

Ambrose Bierce tells us that there are four kinds of homicide. Look them up. The murder of a sex offender qualifies as the fourth kind: praiseworthy.

OK ... Now, does my not having been raped only affect my credibility because I disagree with you, or should all of us lucky ones just shut the hell up for you, regardless of what we think?

You know, a guy I know was shot. He was 18. The kid who shot him was 17. The shooter remembers that he was showing off his guns; he remembers that the gun was loaded; he remembers pointing the gun--they all were laughing. And he doesn't remember pulling the trigger. He was six days shy of his 18th birthday. His sentence was the Boys' School for eighteen months and restitution totalling $1137.49 Fair trade? If its the best Justice can give ... but human life in Oregon is worth less than insurance for a new Chevy.

Since you've brought other criminals into it, I might mention that very little of American Justice satisfies the population's bent for vengeance. Mind you, any country where a joint and a Tylox get you 25 years while pimps pushing 14 year-olds gets turned around in 24 hours due to lack of bedspace is really asking for an inadequate sense of Justice served.

Regardless, even if we locked child molesters up for life, which idea has its merits, we still have to find a way to reduce the number of new predators. Period.

"Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)

[This message has been edited by tiassa (edited November 05, 1999).]
Boris and tiassa,

Not once have I suggested vengeance or violence against this child-predator. Yet, you both indicate that I have.

On separate ocassions, each of you has asked me a question along the lines of... did I consider your thought processes on certain matters to be twisted? In those ocassions, I did not. In this case you have both somehow stretched my belief, that the safety of children would be better served by the ability of parents to readily obtain full disclosure so that they can better inform their children about the danger of associating with a convicted sexual abuser of children in their community, into my being vengeful, violent an/or unforgiving. Sorry guys/gals... I do consider that twisted...

I do share your concern about hanging even one "innocent" person. I also have a concern about even one "innocent" child having their life ruined by a sexual abuser. As we all know, the latter happens much more often than the former. Tiassa's idealistic approach to try and cut down on the numbers of child-predators in the future seems very noble. However, that does not serve the interest of today's "innocent" children who need protection now and who could be better-served through the judicious use of information.

[This message has been edited by truestory (edited November 05, 1999).]

"judicious use of information". That's your sticking point. And you can't possibly be convinced that it's salient.

You simply cannot expect the entire public to make judicious use of information which is simply begging to be a pretext for a hate crime. It is similar to telling people, "thou shalt not kill, and oh by the way, there's Hitler standing on the corner over there", and then hoping they will make judicious use of that instruction. Your proposals are just as idealistic as Tiassa's.

Therefore, I do insist that public disclosure of compromising personal information is a gross violation of privacy as well as an invitation to active (and yes, bloody) persecution. It is tantamount to vengeance, and excessive punishment -- no matter what golden wrappings you try to apply to this issue. If you arm a murderer, and turn around so as not to watch the murder, you are still an accomplice. The kind of public information service you propose is tantamount to arming murderers.

If certain sex offenders are indeed not capable of rehabilitation, they must simply be locked up for life. Be it in prison, a mental institution, or a special guarded community especially for them. But, they should <u>NOT</u> be let out amidst the public, with a big glowing neon target pinned to their back.

On the other hand, if certain sex offenders are indeed judged to be rehabilitated (and especially if their "crime" was something ridiculous like public exposure in their own bathtub) -- they must be treated just as any other criminal who served their time.

Either way, the sex offender "registries" are <u>WRONG</u> -- on <u>every</u> moral ground.

I am; therefore I think.

[This message has been edited by Boris (edited November 05, 1999).]
That you disagree with me is irrelevant. I may not like what you have to say, but I will fight, kill, and die for your right to say it. My vehemence on the situation stems from the way you come off sounding, which I and others interpret as "Okay, so you got raped. The guy did his time, get over it."

I hear a lot of talk about justice and the due process of law. Unfortunately, the law sometimes has very little to do with justice. Case in point: your remark about Oregon.

How do we prevent predators? That's a toughie. I'd rather not wait until they strike before we rip their genitalia off, etc. But how do you act on a crime before it happens? Rape is a crime of anger. It's usually anger against women, although men do get raped, too (and not only men are rapists). Unfortunately, there is no solution yet that doesn't walk all over everybody's rights, victim and criminal alike. If we want to take the moral high-ground, yet still deliver a punishment that lasts as long as the victim's torment, I'd vote for castration, chemical or otherwise. It should be as permanent as the victim's wounds.

Do your extreme views apply to RAPISTS or to SEX OFFENDERS? Because according to the legal language in the US, "sex offender" is anyone convicted of ANY felony having something to do with sex. That includes:

Sex with a minor (no matter how large or small age difference is)
Prostitution (curiously, not pimping)
Soliciting a prostitute
Making, selling, or buying child pornography
Indecent exposure
Oral/anal sex between concenting adults (in about half the states)
Homosexual intercourse (likewise)

Lest you think it is all theoretical, early this year an 18-year old in Massachusetts was tried and convicted of statutory rape for having sex with a 17-year old he subsequently married. This "sex offender" is now registered for life. Do you suggest him castrated as well?

When I was in the military, my boyfriend and I sometimes screwed in the middle of an airfield wearing our uniforms - a violation of UCMJ. Technically, we are both "sex offenders" (or would be if we got caught). What exactly punishment do you have in mind for us?
FYI, I do favor castration (chemical or otherwise) for rapists. Child molesters judged incorridgible by a competent psychiatrist should belocked away permanently like any other dangerous mentally ill person. I also think that the whole concept of "sex offender", at least the way it is used in the US, is absurdly inclusive and should be dropped from legal use.
I think there's degrees and degrees of offenders that's kind of being glossed over here.

No, people like the couple in the bathtub, the 18 yr old & 17 yr old couple, etc. should not have their photograph tacked up in every neighborhood they move into. But I think a person that is preying on unsuspecting children should.

I think the difference here is consentual vs. non-consentual sex. If 2 people are having sex - that's not a crime in my book, no matter their age, sex, or sexual position. If somone is victimizing another person, THAT's the crime, and that's the big problem.

In that situation, I think we are having to choose between the lesser of two evils. Is it invading the predator's privacy? Yes! It is. But is that worse than allowing him/her to live in a community without any kind of warning to his/her neighbors? Tough call. I would have to say it depends on the degree of the offence, and whether or not it's likely they will become a repeat offender.

If it's just some guy flashing people, well, big deal - that can be lived with. Sure, it's not pleasant, you don't want your kid seeing that, but it's probably not going to scar them for life. But if it's some real sicko that repeatedly captures little girls and horribly molests them, well, I think he's forgone his privileges as an equal in the community and the people around him deserve to know who he is, and what he's done so they can step up their cautions to their children. Fact of the matter is that our justice system is flawed, very flawed, and people do have an obligation to watch their own backs.
I think the difference here is consentual vs. non-consentual sex. If 2 people are having sex - that's not a crime in my book, no matter their age...

Umm, that's a bit excessive. I am sure the 13-year old boy seduced by his teacher Mary Kay Letourneau "consented" most enthusiastically. Knowing what 13-year ld boys are like, I'd be astonished if she needed more persuasion than "Kiss me right here!". She also messed up his life quite thoroughly, in ways his hormon-flooded brain simply would not think of. The fact that he "consented" to screw her again AFTER she saddled him (his parents, actually) with a baby speaks volumes about teenagers' capacity for rational thought. Permanently removing her from the contact with children is the least she deserved.

Someone once told me that if upon reaching the legal majority (18), this boy decides he wants to marry Letourneau, she should be let out of prison and allowed to marry him. My immediate reaction was "if by then he still wants to spend his life with her, he is even more stupid than he seems", but then I remembered what 18-year olds, boys AND girls, are like. No, she should definitely serve out her sentence. By the time she is free he'll be 22 and taking care of their two children. Maybe that will bring him to his senses.
Letticia -

Good point, and I agree - I misspoke myself.

I meant to refer to mature people, not adults conning children into thinking it's consentual.