Friday, April 16, 2010

Sex Offenders Aren't Allowed To Read This Blog

I suspect I'm about to offend a lot of people. A lot of well-meaning, law-abiding, God-fearing, and hopelessly intolerant and illogical people. And it won't take me long to do it.

The topic is sex offenders (and, more broadly, crime in general). Today I received a Facebook request to join a group called "Keep Registered Sex Offenders from Joining Facebook".

I ignored the group. Why? Because I'm very big on justice and the very premise of this group is unjust.

Let's start with some facts.
  1. I'm not condoning, supporting, or defending sex offenses in any way whatsoever. If you respond with such an accusation, then I will not even give your argument a cursory hearing, because you're not listening, and I won't bother to listen to you if you can't be bothered to listen to me.
  2. Registered sex offenders are "registered" because they have been convicted. They have been told to do so by a judge, and that's part of their punishment. In every case they have served whatever portion of their sentence they were directed to before being released back into society and having their name placed on such a list.
  3. Punishments for crimes are determined by law. Such punishments are imposed to exact justice. That's justice, not revenge, not everlasting punishment.
There are many, many laws constricting where and how a "sex offender" can live or work. In some areas these restrictions are greater than others, and sometimes it doesn't matter what the nature of the offense is. In California, for instance, "annoying children" can be a sex offense (a rule which, if applied consistently, would see almost all teachers behind bars eventually).

Nevertheless, you will never, ever, ever find a shortage of civic-minded individuals who do not trust in the rule of law and who do not agree with the sentencing imposed by judges under legislated guidelines.

People, the way the law should work is this... if you commit a crime, and you are convicted, you pay a debt to society. This may be a fine, it may be restitution, or incarceration; but in every case, when the debt is paid IT IS PAID. Now, if you don't agree with that statement, read it again very carefully. And if you still don't agree with it, it's because your brain isn't working properly and you are very, very wrong.

There are certain long-lasting or permanent repercussions to committing some crimes. Felons may not be allowed to own a gun, or vote, or run for public office. Sex offenders are registered and typically aren't allowed to work in jobs that require them to come in significant contact with children, and may not be allowed to live within a certain distance of schools. In every case, with every crime, these persistent restrictions are for the protection of the public. They are never there to satisfy your outrage.

There are misguided individuals who insist on piling punishment upon punishment, ad infinitum, until prison looks pretty good by comparison. These individuals apparently believe that they are "doing something" to make their world a little safer, and don't seem to realize that they are very often working at cross-purposes to that goal. Do you want to know how to turn an offender into a repeat offender? It's really easy: you simply take away all hope, all friendships, all socializing, all chance of a normal life, all chance of being able to move on. You establish gulags and ghettos for these sex offenders because nobody anywhere wants them to live in their neighborhoods. You establish petitions to keep them off the Internet because God forbid they might actually type into the same forum you do. If you detect that they might actually have a friend or two that they would like to keep in touch with... well, you nip that in the bud and keep them isolated and friendless and dissatisfied and yearning for anybody's company... anybody's at all.

In other words, you do exactly what the misguided individuals I mentioned advocate.

The usual reasons given for the neverending cycle of punishment are the severity of the crime and that sex offenses are an addiction that cannot be overcome. For the first, I call B.S.... for example, in the U.S. we do not have a "registered murderers" database. We're clearly not talking about the severity of the crime; rather it's the emotional baggage attached to it. I also call B.S. on the second reason. There are many addictions, and we do not hang a permanent stigma over any other type of addiction. Even heroin use can be overcome. There are former substance abusers all over the globe who want their recreational drug, yet choose not to have them. Beyond the matter of denying an individual's constitutional rights, we're faced with the rather dangerous situation where people desire to treat the addiction itself as a crime rather than acting on the addiction. By comparison, being addicted to heroin is not a criminal offense in any jurisdiction; using heroin is. Certainly it's possible that some sex offenders cannot be rehabilitated, but it has never been shown that this applies to all, and to paint all people with the same brush is simply unjust, illogical, and even unconstitutional.

Now, there ARE incorrigible criminals, and the law recognizes and allows for that with life imprisonment and even the death penalty. If you really and truly believe that these sex offenders are completely incorrigible, and that they cannot under any circumstances be rehabilitated or control their urges, then stop being a wimp. Hypocrites piss me off. Stand up and advocate that they be locked away for life. But don't add to the problem by showering them with pissy little micro-annoyances that in the long run do nothing but add to society's problems.


  1. How many laws named after dead children are going to be passed as "doing something?"

    Unfortunately, these "feel good," "knee jerk," "emotional based" do more to endanger than prevent and protect.

    We, as a society need to get our collective head out of our backside and realize these laws have no foundation whatsoever in "Evidence Based Research," (EBR).

    These laws actually bastardize the very children they are named after. They "do more harm than good."

    I wonder if Jessica's Law killed Chelsea King? It certainly didn't help! Did Jessica's Law frenzy that California experienced in 2006 resulted in the dilution of control of the registry to the point that Gardner wasn't properly watched on parole before his release from the system? I do believe so.

    If little Adam Walsh, Jessica Lunsford, Chelsea King and others could speak to us today, would they say STOP this insanity of creating laws in my name that actually endanger all of our society. Would they be proud of the politician who uses their names for votes and the media for ratings.

    EVERYONE, we must approach laws with cool heads and base laws on RESEARCH! Laws that actually prevent and protect.

    As things stand now, John Walsh, in Adams name, Mark Lunsford in Jessica's name and the King family in Chelsea's name, have bastardize their child's name with laws that endanger the very children they profess to protect.

    Media **** abound in this society and EVIDENCE BASED RESEARCH is totally ignored by these people.

    So, do they REALLY care about children? I really don't believe so. Many know the research and ignore it completely in order to promote self interest.

    What a shame! Are YOU a danger to children!

    If you support these laws on the books, the answer is YES YOU ARE, because these laws are part of the problem and not the solution.
    Just like the politician and news media who put votes and ratings first while professing to protecting!

  2. And then there is Megan's Law... there are so many of them, but I won't digress. Maureen Kanka is the mother of 'Megan' whom, of course the law was named after. Maureen strongly opposes the Law and is vocal about her dispute of the (other) similar 'Laws.' There are some that think the same way as the author of Ruminations and they can do good if done in the right places (referring to the fact that fb is NOT the place to post false generalizations about people). I used Capital Hill--see declaring my rights as a person who has a past sexually related, non-contact crime. Treatment and social involvement (not isolation as the facebook radical proposes) is what makes the offender a whole person again.

  3. Dave, I totally agree with you.

  4. Something has to be done to change these laws. Too many innocent and non violent men and women are suffering and the mortal danger that these registries put people in are terrible. If someone decided just to open up the registry and started killing them then what?

  5. i am a well-meaning, law-abiding, atheist, and phd in physics. every dollar taken to imprison these oxygen thieves is a dollar taken from a child's education or an elderly's healthcare. they need to be killed off with .01 cent 3d printed guns.

  6. Anonymous of July 30, I'd need a little more evidence concerning the "well-meaning" part. This offense has nothing to do with guns, so let's not conflate issues. But at least you're not being wishy-washy about it. Now go get some help with your anger management... at the moment you look a lot like a menace to society.

  7. “I think that for those who have suffered unjustly, justice alone is not enough. They want the guilty to suffer unjustly too. Only this will they understand as justice.”
    Mrs. Borowski
    Ok most of the people you are talking about most likely aren't the ones that suffered from it, but I think it still kinda apply.
    If I understood correctly you say that laws gives out a punishment and it should be final and people shouldn't take things into their hands since then it gets out of... hands .I wouldn't go as far as to say that law always gives aprioriative punishment "This may be a fine, it may be restitution, or incarceration; but in every case, when the debt is paid IT IS PAID." yes from Law point of view. Law's are made by humans, humans make mistakes, Law's can be wrong. For people it's personal and just like the qoute says sometime unjust punishment is the only punishment that people will accept.
    I see it like that: Punishment to scare off new offenders (and gives some sense of justice to victims) and rehabilitations for people that already commited the crime and while social stigma of this level is something to fear it sadly don't work as good as it should, eh what can you do?
    The bigest problem, in my opinion, is when people overuse this sex offender thing and use it as a weapon to hurt someone. You don;t like some mean bloger on internet whose name so happen to be Dave Leight? Make him into a sex offender! Your boss don;t want to give you rise? SEX OFFENDER!!!

    This subject is usually looked at from victim, offender perspective, also lots of emotions is put into it, and people forget about self-righteous protectors of humanity. Sounds kinda Hitler-ish.
    At least the meme lives and people like you talk about it.

    PS. I always knew something was wrong with my brain, bu not that it's very, very wrong. :,(
    PPS. Sorry about lack of obligatory Anonymous ad-hominem bs.

    1. Hi, Anonymous. I think by "Mrs. Borowski", perhaps you're talking of Julie Borowski, the well-known conservative vlogger.

      The problem with her quote is that America has a Justice System. It does not have an "Injustice System", and should never aspire to create one.

      While it is true that laws are made by humans, and humans can be wrong, it's also true that one human... especially one blinded by injustice... is far more apt to make an error than an entire legislative body whose members argue the merits of a law in the cold light of reason and who have had every opportunity to think about the repercussions of that law before enacting it.

      It is equally true that vigilante "justice" is far less likely to be "just" than that meted out by a court of law after due process, including discovery of evidence, the right to confront one's accusers, and to argue the case with the aid of counsel before a jury of peers selected from the citizenry.

      Our system of justice is specifically intended to minimize the damage to society that can be caused by indulging those who, in their grief and rage, may inadvertently cause irreversible damage.

      The people that Mrs. Borowski describe in her quote would meet injustice with injustice. That is, they would meet crime with more crime. I sincerely hope she's not among them, as this is obviously immoral. It equally obviously cannot be allowed in a civil society. And part of Justice -- in addition to the sentencing of the perpetrator -- is to provide victim counseling to those who feel the urge to pile injustice upon injustice so that they do not become criminals in turn.

      It is a very difficult thing to let go of our hate and grant forgiveness to someone who plainly does not deserve it and never will. And though Christianity often gets a bad rap in this Liberal and secular society; it is this aspect of Christian philosophy that we should all strive to adopt for ourselves; not for the sake of the criminal, but for our own.

    2. P.S., you never have to apologize for the lack of obligatory Anonymous ad-hominem B.S. I'm only a "mean blogger" to those who have earned it. And when I do it, it's only words.

    It was a quote from Tadeusz Borowski "This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen"
    "She" is. Was. I think he would agree it was injustice. After all to his last days he felt quillty (my assumption) about it and then killed himself.
    This quote refers to the way captives in concentrations camps were looking at their opresors. It's far harsher situation than what this post is about, but It looked to me like this process of hate is similiar.

    1. Thanks for the clarification. You threw me with the "Mrs. Borowski". And since I'm not familiar with him, I'm curious: why did you use that title?

      Nevertheless, my comment remains unchanged but for the origin of the quote, and for all the same reasons.

      Aside from that, although this is off topic I'm curious about something else. Why do you assume he felt guilty? You seem to tie it to his suicide, but the little bit I just saw of a bio would seem to suggest that it was disillusionment with the Communist regime, which he had hoped would be better than that of the Nazis.

    2. I missclicked, somehow and didn't realize that. It give me a good luaght once I realized it.

      You gave your opinion I gave mine. The end. That's subject of morality and here all we can is talk about our opinions and try to show others how we see it. If they will like it more than what they are using now they will change themself, if not then nope.

      I read his works :)
      “There can be no beauty if it is paid for by human injustice, nor truth that passes over injustice in silence, nor moral virtue that condones it.”;
      Main haracter in list to his wife, nowwere is it stated that main hero of his works is himself - stll all facts check, translation by me "PS. But before, you know, I would like to buther one or two of them, to discharge camp comlex, complex of rising hats to them, idle looking at beaten and murdered, complex of fear of the camp. Homever I'm afride camp complex will overwight us. I don't know if we will survive, but I would want us to be able to call things with thier names/proper names/tell how it was, to act how brave people act." and he was naming these things.
      In camps he was a capo, this dude who decides who is going to chambers and who can work and others bad things that SS couldn't bother to do. Also I think he felt great quilt about not rebeling against it all. Often in his works you can see how he desribing camps fortification, personel and himm explaining how easy would it be for prisoners to simply overtake them and just run. No one did it. Big parts of his works is thinking why.
      I tie his suicide to being quilty since if you are going to kill yourself you most likely will have a reason and quilt lookes to me more likely, but generally it's asociated with his disilusinment yes. Dunno. really that's why I addet this ().