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Switch to Forum Live View Sex offenders and parole
7 years ago  ::  May 08, 2008 - 12:07PM #1
DAH54
Posts: 3,318
Sex offenders and parole, has come up as a topic on another thread rather than hijacking that thread, I invite those who wish to express their opinions on this topic to do so here.

To me as I understand our laws once you have served your prison time in theory you are no longer suppose to be punished by the state. As conditions of parole many cities and states are invoking rules that in effect forbids one from living in that community. We are in effect as I see it discriminating against a class of people. America is founded on a principle that one is innocent until proven guilty, yet when it comes to this area we as a society are very biased. A woman accused of molesting a male child is almost never treated in the same manner as a man accused of molesting a female child.

In effect the state has permitted fear to control where one may live, for select classes of people. We talk of recidivism rates for these people, but in reality we are punishing these people for a potential crime that they may or may not commit. Certain classes of people have historically been looked upon to commit crimes. We pick a group and go after them. Certain groups of people are more likely to commit crimes according to stats, should we look to banning these group from immigrating into the United States? In the name of fear do we start to ban certain groups that stats show are more likely to "hurt" us? Is this where our future lies?

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7 years ago  ::  May 08, 2008 - 12:37PM #2
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
While I understand your theoretical argument, for me personally the obligation to try to protect children is paramount.
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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7 years ago  ::  May 08, 2008 - 12:53PM #3
DAH54
Posts: 3,318

KatherineOrthodixie wrote:

While I understand your theoretical argument, for me personally the obligation to try to protect children is paramount.


I would suggest that it is not about protecting children, but rather fear and or illusion. If we actually wish to protect children then execution is the way to go. There is zero chance an executed molester will molest again. Problem solved once and for all.  If that is too distasteful then simply lock them up for life. Stopping someone from living in an area only creates an illusion of safety. In many cases stopping someone from living in an area is not the same as preventing them from being in that area.  In many cases it maybe illegal to live in an area but not illegal to be in the same area.

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7 years ago  ::  May 08, 2008 - 1:03PM #4
IreneAdler
Posts: 2,849

KatherineOrthodixie wrote:

While I understand your theoretical argument, for me personally the obligation to try to protect children is paramount.


Agreed!

Can one guarantee that a multiple offender pedophile will never harm another child again? Is it worth risking an additional child to such a crime in order to give convicted pedophile the same post-jail freedom as say, a bank robber or murderer? I’d be willing to risk returning a convicted bank robber to society over risking a convicted pedophile.

There are two multiple-convicted pedophiles here in Ca that the state is trying to house as they have completed their jail sentences.  They are required to complete special programs and maintain very regular contact with counselors. At least one has been returned to prison as he has indicated that he is unable to control the desire to re-offend. And note that he volunteered this- and did not harm another child.  Can we rely on all pedophiles to be this honest? I doubt it.

Yes, it is unfair that such people are not considered rehabilitated when they complete their jail time. However, there are children involved- and the child's well-being takes precidence over the pedophiles loss of freedom.

Irene.

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7 years ago  ::  May 08, 2008 - 2:13PM #5
SatanicStalker
Posts: 719

DAH54 wrote:

I would suggest that it is not about protecting children, but rather fear and or illusion. If we actually wish to protect children then execution is the way to go. There is zero chance an executed molester will molest again. Problem solved once and for all.  If that is too distasteful then simply lock them up for life. Stopping someone from living in an area only creates an illusion of safety. In many cases stopping someone from living in an area is not the same as preventing them from being in that area.  In many cases it maybe illegal to live in an area but not illegal to be in the same area.


I agree. The more serious sex offenders should be executed. I've been saying that for years.

A distinction should be made, however, between a man who rapes a five year old and, say, an eighteen year old high school senior who has consentual sex with his fifteen year old sophomore girlfriend and her father presses charges. We need the laws to protect children (and people in general) but the laws are not perfect, and there will always be some cases that are labeled "sex offenses" but really are a completely separate class from the true rapists.

And, keep in mind, there are some devious people who will wrongfully accuse a person of rape as a form of maniupulation. There would have to be similar rules that a sex offender could only be executed if there was physical evidence and DNA evidence.

As with everything, it gets complicated.

But discriminating against released sex offenders, though it is discrimination, is not the same as discriminating against people for their race or religion. You are not discriminating against them for what other people who look like them have done, but for things they themselves have done. I don't necessarily think  that past should go away just because the jail sentence is over.

I agree that ideally people would either be released free and rehabilitated to start anew or they would not be released at all. The system is imperfect. A lot of it has to do with funding. It's expensive to execute someone, and it's expensive to keep them in prison for life. Personally I don't understand life sentences; if you are not going to ever let them out, why bother keeping them alive? But then, often times a "life sentence" isn't necessarily that, is it?

~Stalker

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7 years ago  ::  May 08, 2008 - 3:02PM #6
DAH54
Posts: 3,318
Does a child not have a right to expect that their parents have a duty to supervise their child? Does a parents right to not adequately supervise their child trump the rights of a sex offender? As a parent I do not wish my child to drown either, do I have a right to force my neighbor to fill in and or remove their pool? Simply because I do not feel like watching my child enough to keep my child out of their yard. As a parent I do not wish my child run over by a drunk driver, do I have a right to ban alcohol? Fear does not stop. Once we nourish fear it simply grows and spreads.

It can be demonstrated how being put on a sex offenders list makes life much harder for those on such a list, who can demonstrate that having one's name on such a list prevents that person from re-offending? You can't! You want to stop this behavior, execute them on the first convection, dead men do not offend again.  Men locked away behind bars do not offend.

Forcing a sex offender to move does not address the real problem, it simply passes the buck to another community. It creates illusions that we are protecting our children when we are not. It creates the illusions we are not hurting these people when we are.

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7 years ago  ::  May 08, 2008 - 4:11PM #7
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
In the interests of full disclosure, I should point out that my husband (who works with ex-offenders and inmates, including SOs) and I are on totally opposite sides of this issue, which has resulted in many vigorous exchanges of views (as the saying goes).

His opinion (and this comes from someone who holds a national certification to work with ex-offenders and inmates, as well as serving on our national church prison ministry board) is that if you let them out, you have to let them work and live.

Needless to say, I disagree!

My preference would be to have them all sent to a Devil's Island-type prison, given tools, food and clothing and left alone, never to leave.

The reason why there is an "age of consent" is that minors should be protected under the law from being victimized by adults sexually. It is presumed that a minor does not have the maturity, coping skills etc. that would enable them to avoid becoming victims.

If you are saying that parents should supervise their children more, I most heartily agree. But who would necessarily suspect the Little League coach or church youth group leader, or even a priest? Also realistically speaking, what parent can be with their children 24/hrs. a day?

One thing that having a SO registration list available to the public would do just that - enable parents to be on their guard to protect their children, if they knew that a SO lived close by.

And stalker makes a good point that, if SOs are being discriminated against, it's not because of something that they can't help (such as race or gender) but rather for decisions and actions that they took.

As I said, while I understand the argument philosophically (having heard it many times!!!) , I still think that protecting children comes first - and we must err on the side of caution when it comes to them.
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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7 years ago  ::  May 08, 2008 - 7:50PM #8
AttitudeIsEverything
Posts: 187

DAH54 wrote:

Forcing a sex offender to move does not address the real problem, it simply passes the buck to another community. It creates illusions that we are protecting our children when we are not. It creates the illusions we are not hurting these people when we are.


Hurting these people? I think rather they hurt themselves, not to mention the children they victimized. 

I think we are coming to a time when it will be as Katherine suggests, a Devils Island situation, where they can be together in one place, away from children.

Yes, parents need to supervise their children, but I can think of at least 2 major news stories- Polly Klass several years ago, and one here in Florida, where the children were taken from their home in the middle of the night.

Here in Florida there is a web site for me to see where the pedophiles live, and I do that every few months.  We just don't know who our neighbors are...

They are not "discriminated" against for no reason. It says a lot about how we value our children that they are not all locked up forever.  I would gladly pay more tax dollars to build the prisons so they could be.  I'd rather see the death penalty here-far less expensive over the years than an execution- but better in prison than allowed back into society to repeat again.

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7 years ago  ::  May 10, 2008 - 3:37PM #9
Sfltracey
Posts: 283

DAH54 wrote:

If we actually wish to protect children then execution is the way to go. There is zero chance an executed molester will molest again. Problem solved once and for all.  If that is too distasteful then simply lock them up for life.


From the age of 4 until my 18th birthday I was molested by several people, mostly by my stepfather. He received a 15 year sentence in 1985. As much as I have had to deal with the pain of the abuse, I wouldn't have supported his execution. Since his release in 1996 in New Jersey, I have tried to find out if he has registered as he is not listed in the website and should be included in Megan's Law. This part has been especially frustrating since they won't give me any information. It took a friend getting information from a police officer to tell me he is registered.

My hope is he is at peace and rehabilitated. I don't expect him to be a decent person. He had molested his other children before me and was a really disgusting person when I knew him. I can only hope he has not touched anyone else. He did attend an institution for sexual offenders. Even though at one time I was angry, I have learned to not put my energy in the anger and hate towards my offenders and it doesn't help me healing.

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7 years ago  ::  May 10, 2008 - 5:32PM #10
mountain_man
Posts: 40,208

DAH54 wrote:

Sex offenders and parole, has come up as a topic on another thread rather than hijacking that thread, I invite those who wish to express their opinions on this topic to do so here.

To me as I understand our laws once you have served your prison time in theory you are no longer suppose to be punished by the state. As conditions of parole many cities and states are invoking rules that in effect forbids one from living in that community. We are in effect as I see it discriminating against a class of people. America is founded on a principle that one is innocent until proven guilty, yet when it comes to this area we as a society are very biased. A woman accused of molesting a male child is almost never treated in the same manner as a man accused of molesting a female child.


Parole is a form of custody. Part of the conditions of getting out early for good behavior is a period of low custody that is called parole.

In effect the state has permitted fear to control where one may live, for select classes of people. We talk of recidivism rates for these people, but in reality we are punishing these people for a potential crime that they may or may not commit. Certain classes of people have historically been looked upon to commit crimes. We pick a group and go after them. Certain groups of people are more likely to commit crimes according to stats, should we look to banning these group from immigrating into the United States? In the name of fear do we start to ban certain groups that stats show are more likely to "hurt" us? Is this where our future lies?


Politicians feed the fear to their voters. It gets them votes. From what few statistics I've seen; paroled sex offenders that have received treatment have among the lowest recidivism rates somewhere (if I remember correctly) about 5%. Your child is more likely to be abused by someone you warmly hug at the front door than a paroled sex offender sneaking in the back door. Paroled drug offenders have a higher rate of abusing children than paroled sex offenders. (Don't ask, I forgot where I read that, but I didn't make it up.)

Sex offenses are serious crimes that deserve serious punishments and serious treatment. Once they've served their time there is no need for further persecution. That helps no one.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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