“I wish I was executed because my life is basically over”

By Mona Charen . . . With several septuagenarians competing for the presidency, the ghost of the 1990s looms over the 2020 race. Joe Biden has faced criticism for his sponsorship of the 1994 crime bill. President Donald Trump tweeted, “Anyone associated with the 1994 Crime Bill will not have a chance of being elected.” Here’s some context. Violent crime…

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The insanity of prosecuting sexting as child pornography

By Rory Fleming . . . In America, an 80-year-old man can have sex with a consenting 16-year-old without breaking the law in over half the states. But the possession by an 18-year-old of a digital image of a 17-year-old’s bare breast is considered by our legal system as the equivalent of setting off a nuclear bomb in a national…

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Having sex? misdemeanor, no registration; asking for sex? felony, registration for life

By Todd Feathers . . . When he was 18 years old, Bailey Serpa propositioned a 15-year-old he knew for sex. Had the two teenagers actually engaged in consensual sex, Serpa’s crime would have been a Class A misdemeanor with no requirement that he register as a sex offender. They didn’t have sex, but because Serpa, of Nottingham, used a…

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Barbaric consequences to “show me yours and I’ll show you mine” in a digital world

By Sandy. . . Imagine being fourteen years old today, in a world where technology is changing the rules faster than they are being written. John Grasso, a criminal defense attorney and a former police officer, has captured that situation with the brilliant and apt metaphor of stepping into quicksand. You don’t know it’s there until you are in it,…

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NO kid — make that no ONE — belongs on a sex offense registry

By Lenore Skenazy . . . Both the boys admit they did it. Horsing around, two New Jersey 14-year-olds pulled down their pants and sat on the faces of two 12-year-old boys. As one of them later explained, “I thought it was funny and I was trying to get my friends to laugh.” For that act, he and his buddy…

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Juvenile registration: ineffective and destructive

  By Rebecca L. Fix . . . Sex offender registration policies were initially developed for adults with sexual offenses, but have recently been extended to include youth with sexual offenses as well. At first glance, sex offender registration and notification (hereafter referred to as SORN) may make us feel safer, produce relief knowing that these individuals are being punished. However,…

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Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in sexting case

By John Bacon . . . Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former Congressman who pleaded guilty in May to sexting with a 15-year-old girl, was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison. Weiner, 53, also faces spending the rest of his life as a registered sex offender for his lengthy and lurid social media contacts with the North Carolina teen. Weiner cried in…

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Teen offered 350 years or life as SVP for sexting!

By Lenore Skenazy . . . Zachary, now 19, is in jail awaiting sentencing for five pictures his teenage girlfriend sent him of herself in her underwear. He faced a choice between a possible (though unlikely) maximum sentence of 350 years in prison, or lifetime on the sex offender registry as a “sexually violent offender”—even though he never met the…

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Absurd laws turn sexting teens into child pornographers

By Michael Rosenberg . . . Depending on personal experience, a person in violation of the law is a monster, an errant architect of his own fate, a heedless sinner, or a victim of a cruel system. The nature of crime is that it creates victims and perpetrators, but recently, the number of people prosecuted for crimes in which they are…

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North Carolina sex police: Charging teen as adult for being a minor

By Robby Soave . . . A North Carolina 17-year-old caught in a sexting scandal faces charges of sexually exploiting a minor that could land him in jail for up to 10 years, since the law considers him an adult. But one of the minors he supposedly exploited is himself­—which raises an obvious question: how can a teen be old…

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