Thursday, November 02, 2006

To Catch a Clue

This post will be a departure from my normal format. I generally attempt to address some current event or recent news story and provide commentary on the subject. In this case, however, I'm going to rant and offer some ideas. The subject matter is current, although there is no specific story. I don't normally do this, mainly because when this sort of thing is done poorly it's boring (or painful) to read. Please post your comments if you have any.

Today's subject: sex offenders.

I've been thinking a little bit about this (spurred on by various disgusting news stories too lurid to link to), and I've reached some conclusions.

1. The United States has a problem with sex offenses, specifically with repeat offenses.
2. Our current system does not adequately deter this epidemic.
3. (Follows from 2) Our justice system's response to sex crimes is inappropriate.
4. Something should be done differently.

If you disagree with that, you're either a moron or you're a perv yourself. Look up your home state's online sex offender registry and see how many of them live in your hometown. Go to FoxNews, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, or any other national news source and spend five minutes browsing current or archived articles.

I have also identified several important considerations when addressing sex crime punishment reform:

1. There are different kinds of sex crimes. It would be unjust to treat an 18 year-old who impregnated his 15 or 16 year-old girlfriend the same as we would treat a child pornographer.
2. By the same token, we have to remember that some 18 year-olds are more than just statutory rapists.
3. Stiffer penalties require more and larger prisons and more prison guards. This is, of course, the burden of the taxpayer.
4. Released sex offenders almost always repeat their crimes.
5. It is the role of government to improve the lives of its people.

Of course everyone disagrees about how we accomplish #5. Liberals want to do it with handouts, socialists want to do it through governmental controls, and conservatives largely want to let the people do it for themselves. And yet I don't think it's a far stretch to conclude that releasing sex offenders back into the public arena does not accomplish #5.

My conclusions:
1. We enact a law with real teeth. If you rape or molest anyone under the age of 13, you get the death penalty. Mandatory. No activist judge can send you to rehab. You get hanged. (No metaphor. You die at the end of a rope.)

Why in the hell should we pay to keep someone that meets the above criteria alive? They will never reform and present a constant danger to our children. To not execute these people is inexcusable, irresponsible and borderline insane.

2. As the development of children ages 13-16 can vary widely, protecting them with legislation can be tricky. Some 16 year-olds may look 20, while others may look 12. An additional level of complexity presents itself when one considers the fact that some 16 (or 15) year-olds are sexually active with 18 year-olds. Although such relationships are highly inappropriate, their impropriety has nothing to do with an age differential or a perversion on the part of either party. Thus, I think the law would have to be written to clearly separate statutory rape (boyfriend/younger girlfriend) and pedophilia. Leave the punishment for statutory as-is and give the pedophile 25 years minimum.

There is no room in society for predators. We do children a tremendous injustice by releasing them back into society after minimal sentences.

We treat crack-cocaine dealers as the very devil incarnate and imprison them for LIFE after three strikes. If we are that harsh on drugs, why do we so carelessly let our children fend for themselves when it comes to something that's arguably harder to protect them against?

The tremendous clamp-down on the death penalty in this country is a tragedy. Bowing to the left and the soft-on-crime PCers, we wrench shut our eyes and pretend that everything is OK when justice is not served. There is nothing cruel about public hanging.

Hell, getting your face on Dateline is a pedophile's worst fear today.

It's not until we start threatening the noose instead of the news that we'll see any change.

2 Comments:

Blogger Reason said...

I highly disagree with #5. I imagine that it's really the WORDING that I disagree with, but taken out of context I find the statement repulsive.

The role of the government is to protect the natural rights of its citizens. If you have a rotten life, but nobody's ever done you any harm, don't expect the feds to make everything peachy.

Sadly, it seems that's the world we live in...

7/11/06 6:06 PM  
Blogger MartiniMartini said...

Wow, Adam, for once you and I agree 100% I'm stunned. ;)

10/11/06 6:39 PM  

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