One of the problems with government is the lack of term limits for representatives and senators at the federal and state level. These legislators get in and then do the work of the wealthy who funded and keep funding their campaigns instead of doing the work for the betterment of their constituency. Then every once in a while when they attempt to do something for the betterment of society as a whole, they respond with knee-jerk reactions to media hyperbole about the latest demon in society. Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s it was the sex offender. But today, who really is a sex offender?
I know I will probably take a lot of heat for this, but the original idea of placing persons on a registry that actually served a jail or prison sentence for sexual assault or rape was a good idea. The problem was making the registry public. In other countries that have sex offender registries, only law enforcement has access to the information. For crimes of sexual assault and rape, I don’t see a problem with only law enforcement having a data base of such offenders. However, the public shaming and humiliation for these type of offenders goes beyond reason. If we really want these types of offenders to get help while serving their sentences, then we need to give them a fair chance to prove remorse and go on with their life. We aren’t going to get that with a public sex offender registry and employers who will not hire these ex-offenders at a living wage and at a job that has nothing to do with the possibility of re-offending. It is ridiculous. Then after a “reasonable” time, remove them from the police registry. EVERYONE deserves a second chance. With these crimes, I do not think if it were a family member of mine that I’d be in favor of a third chance.
I make no apology for finding crimes of public urination, streaking, arbitrary Romeo & Juliette laws (which today would have listed our grandfathers and great grandfathers and many politicians in their days on such a sex offender registry), police stings where there is no real victim, and downloading subjective definitions of child pornography that are inconsistent depending on the state being eligible for listing on any sex offender registry, public or law enforcement eyes only. This isn’t reasonable.