Reply To: Federal judiciary finally sees light: Restrictions are punishment


In my opinion, sex offender (SO) registration/registry laws rank right down there with American slavery, the civil war, lynching, women’s suffrage, abortion, the war on drugs, and the Vietnam police action (not a war). It is one of the most contentious issues to come down the pike since the civil rights movement circa 1950s and 1960s. Combatants on both sides of the ball. On one side you have the “Old West” type lynch mob, or proponents of SO laws. These people want the constitutional rights taken away from anyone who has committed a sex crime of any type. They would prefer these people remain behind prison bars—for life; however, they will settle for state sponsored banishment, disenfranchisement, the Scarlet Lettering/stigmatization of and the stripping of all inalienable rights of this person: They believe he/she is not entitled to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. On the other side are the opponents of SO laws. These people believe they are fighting an enemy bent on the destruction of the US Constitution. They are not FOR sex offenses—indeed, no rational person is; and ironically, even those who have committed sex offenses don’t like sex offenders—seriously. Opponents see a bigger picture involved with SO laws than proponents do. Proponents operate strictly from an EMOTION stand point. Logic and reasoning, statistical/empirical evidence on the issue means nothing to them. When say sex offender you might as well have said SPIDER or SNAKE, something to be killed at the sight of. To Proponents they are one in the same. Opponents understand the societal ramifications of SO laws. How they affect the lives of those subject to them and by extension how these laws affect the lives of their family members. A collateral consequence proponents seem to turn a blind eye to. And just what are proponents saying with their silence on that peripheral dynamic? Yes, SO laws can realistically be said to rank right there with some of the most politically charged issues in the last 50 years. And just where will this issue take us as nation?