Sex offenders locked up for Halloween


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CNN said:
Scores of sex offenders in Anderson, South Carolina, will be corralled for Halloween tonight in a move authorities say is needed to keep kids safe as they trick or treat.

"At 5 p.m., we are going to require all of our probation/parole/pardon sex offenders to report to the office and they'll remain here from 5 to 10:30 p.m," agent Gerald Black, with the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon, told CNN affiliate WYFF...

Paroled offenders in California have a 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, cannot leave any outside lights on and may not answer their doors except for law enforcement. Illinois offenders face similar restrictions, including a ban on dressing in a costume.

Sheriff's deputies in Harris County, Texas, have been checking homes of sex offenders for Halloween decorations and are ready to arrest violators.

"We actually have probation officers riding with us," Precinct 7 Deputy Johnathon Davis told CNN affiliate KPRC. "They're going to issue them a citation or their probation is going to be revoked."

About 2,000 registered sex offenders in Maryland will be required to post "No Candy" signs on their doors on Halloween night.

Michigan and Wisconsin are among states urging parents to check the state's public sex offender registry before venturing out in search of treats.

One of the Milwaukee offenders was arrested after police found a candy dish and children's toys, both prohibited items, in his apartment.

But some say the sex offender roundups and restrictions are more show than safety.

"There has not been a single case of any child being molested by a convicted sex offender while trick-or-treating," writes columnist Benjamin Radford on

Rebecca Brunger, an Alaska probation officer, told the Anchorage Daily News her state doesn't put any extra restrictions on sex offenders on Halloween as there's never been a case there of a trick-or-treater being molested by a registered offender...

But states and communities don't want to take any chances.

New York offenders face a 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew coupled with phone calls and visits from probation officers...
OK, this doesn't make sense to me for three reasons. First, if these people are still a danger to children, why aren't they still in prison? Either they've paid their debt, reformed, and there's no reason for their liberty to be further restricted, or they've shown themsleves to be dangerous to society, and have no business being out among the public.

Second, how can someone who's been pardoned of a crime be subject to any punishment because of it? Doesn't a pardon completely wipe the slate clean?

Third, it seems like this is overly broad. The motivation for molesting a child is very different from the motivation for rape. Pedophiles are motivated by sexual attraction to children, whereas rapists are motivated by a need for power over others. The former would be a threat to trick-or-treaters, whereas the latter represent no greater threat than the rest of the population, or at the very least than any other violent criminal (who haven't been targeted here).