Los Angeles Times to Pres. Obama: VETO International Megan’s Law

By the LA Times Editorial Board . . . After rousing themselves from the 30-plus-year bad trip that was the war on drugs — or rather, the war on drug users — many Americans in and out of elected office looked around for someone else to persecute. Someone, somewhere, must be so depraved and hateful that liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans could join in common cause to vilify them.

They appear to have found their target: sex offenders. The current case in point is a congressional proposal to alert the nations of the world that particular U.S. citizens who have committed sex offenses against minors are planning to visit. Passports would be specially marked so that other countries could turn travelers away at the border because of old crimes for which they have already served their time in the U.S.

This vindictive bill has been wisely rejected numerous times in the past, but now it’s heading to President Obama’s desk. He should veto it.

Sex offenses against minors are particularly horrendous crimes. But when offenders have completed their sentences and periods of supervision, there is no more reason to continue hounding and harassing them than convicted murderers or drug traffickers, who don’t bear scarlet letters on their passports.

But wait, some supporters argue, people who commit sex crimes against children are a special case. As soon as they’ve done it once, they’ll want more, posing imminent danger to any underage person anywhere. Their front doors should be marked to warn trick-or-treaters. They should be banned from park benches.

This blatantly false argument thrives on ignorance. There are indeed mentally disordered sex offenders whose conditions make them extremely high risks to commit more crimes of the same variety. Some may target minors. But that is far different from saying that anyone convicted of a sex offense against a minor falls into that very narrow category. Corrections officials in California report that most sexual crimes committed by adults against minors occur among family members, and that the rate of recidivism is fairly low.

Sex offenders, sex traffickers, sexual predators — these terms are now routinely conflated by some of the same people who now apologize for waging the war on drugs and who favor efforts to “ban the box,” which would eliminate questions about convictions on employment applications. They would be wise to put down their torches and pitchforks, put on their thinking caps, and remember the value of punishment that fits the crime and allows perpetrators who no longer pose a threat to move on when their debt to society has been paid. (From the Los Angeles Times)

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    • #10617 Reply
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      Nick

      Wow, I almost peed myself when I read this! Amazing that the tide seems finally to be turning from a public perspective. We need more articles like this. Hopefully Mr. Obama will veto it and congressional democrats will stand against overturning his veto. There is zero correlation between being an RSO and traveling internationally for child sex purposes. Even the US Dept of State agrees with this!

      Please Mr. Obama and Democrats in congress, realize this law is a slippery slope to erode constitutional rights and that the law would serve no purpose except to waste taxpayer money. Use the hundreds of millions of dollars that will go into the creation and enforcement of this law to help those who need it, such as the elderly and disabled. Our own Dept of State said in the 2008 report on thousands of passports issued to RSOs that there was zero evidence that these were used to perpetrate international child sex violations.

      When I travel, it’s to have to responsible fun with family and friends. I made a mistake over a decade ago as a very young adult. I paid society back. Why single this crime out? Why can’t I move on? Murderers can, domestic abusers can, drug traffickers can, but I can’t? These crimes hurt people and families too!

      People deserve second chances. If they don’t, they should have been sentenced to life sentences behind bars.

      I pray for logic and rational thinking in this scenario. I pray that hearts can be open to reason and sound evidence, not fear tactics and fictitious hearsay.

    • #10618 Reply
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      Paul

      I hope he vetoes it but remember that he co-sponsored Dru’s Law when he was in the senate. I highly doubt it. Even if he did, there is well over a 2/3rds majority. I’d like him to live up to his rhetoric when it comes to accepting people for who they are, i.e, Muslims, gays, etc, people who have paid their debt to society, etc. Unfortunately, my gut tells me otherwise (I really hope I’m wrong)!!!

    • #10619 Reply
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      Maestro

      I highly HIGHLY doubt that the average convicted sex offender who is a blue collar minimum wage worker (and those who can’t find a job) are dropping the kind of cash it takes to fly overseas and vacation for a week or two and then pay more money to have sex with children in prostitution rings.. Let’s get REAL, shall we?

      Let’s see some statistics of who has been caught in child sex stings overseas and take note of how many of them were previously convicted of sex offenses vs those who are men with high paying careers, including POLITICIANS with no criminal record AT ALL!!

      Then tell this group of bafoons to explain THAT and how this ‘scarlet letter’ on passports of those once convicted of a sex crime is somehow going to stop those who are on their way to committing one (i.e. upper/middle class men).
      Sometimes you’ve got to wonder if the politicians who come up with these laws/regulations are truly down right STUPID and don’t have the brain capacity to realize people aren’t BORN with any particular criminal record, or, if they are well aware of the truth and just want those tax payer votes any which way they can get them.

    • #10620 Reply
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      Elizabeth

      I dont feel as though Megan’s law has any effect on stopping sex crimes here in the US or over seas. In some cultures and countries men can marry children because they have the money to pay for their needs. And that that culture and ideology has exploded since Iraq war and the dependency on social networks.

      A lot of the sex crimes you see today are made over the internet which you don’t know if kids are telling the truth. They could have pictures and say they are 18 and lie then people who believe this end up targets of a sex sting by the cops.

      Not only that with pirating movies and programs you don’t really know that you have downloaded something dirty until you open it. Then not knowing the District Attorney Office has a tracker on that file. Instead of the DA taking it off the internet they just tag on to it. The ol’ bait and switch and a lot of the guys charged with decemination have been baited and placed and labeled as these pedophiles who never come in contact or intentionally look for sexual acts with minors. Even the DA at my husband’s court case didn’t show up for the first two hearings, because they tried to look and deeper to see if it was done intentionally. The judge wanted to drop the case at the last moment just because the DA never came to court, but the had come in 20 minutes late on the last date when it would have been dropped to pull some crap out of their hat and sentence to a life of Megan’s law for 12 pictures attached to a 30 gigabyte file. We couldn’t afford the 30,000 dollars to go to trial to fight it because my husband couldn’t take his government job he had lined up at the airport and I was on disability for my severe epilepsy.

      My husband has been forced from that day to live a crap and labeled as a predator when all we did was pirate music and movies because we were to broke from college loans to pay for it. We are treated like garbage and have our house damaged and cars graffiti on because people can look on the internet and see where I live.

      People even set my garbage on fire trying to burn my house down. The world is against these guys and it’s not fair. Social media is dangerous and as the cost of technology decreases the problems with kids taking any selfies and posting things that can give anyone over 18 a one way trip to hell.

      Then you push these guys to be even more separated from society by labeling them. You have my address you post it to everyone. I move into a new house people get alerts on their cellphones. We walk around with targets on our backs. We are scared to trust anyone and we are scared to start a family just because if we have kids we don’t want them to be targets and be taunted and ashamed of things that happened years ago that we try ever damn day to make up for.

      Life will never be the same and then if we try to go to another place that peopl have no clue who we are just to vacation and relieve stress it just follows. We never hurt anyone. Damn pictures cost us $15,000 and a life time of sorrow and dispare. What happens to the kid who posted it? Nothing, they get to go on and live. They can become what ever they like and never know that the pictures they put on their Facebook or Twitter account had cost someone their entire life.

    • #10621 Reply
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      RedMane

      Nope! OFCOURSE dictator Obama did not veto the bill! … He gave the bill his SEAL OF APPROVAL!!! Result: The bill has now been passed!!! Now we have “Megan’s Law International!!!”

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