Should sex offenders identities be kept secret?

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by Mirage, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Here's an interesting article:

    FOXNews.com - Sex Offenders Try to Block Laws Allowing Them to Be ID'd Online - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

    Sex offenders guilty of minor offenses in the US are trying to block a law that would allow them to be ID'd online publicly. They claim that they shouldn't be listed with the worst of the worst in a "one size fits all" list of all sex offenders. After all, it will be harder for them to get jobs etc with such a note on their record..

    What do you think?

    I think if you have a sex offense on your record it's in the public's best interest to know who you are. They should have thought about this before committing such crimes. I think employers, neighborhoods, etc have the right to know if they are hiring or living near somebody with sex offenses on their record.

    This is not considered a punishment for the criminals, but instead a fair heads up to everybody they will be coming in contact with. I think the public has the right to know such things.

    I do however think that in cases of no evidence, those people should not be classified under this system unless they plead guilty.

    Thoughts?
     

  2. KiethBlackLion

    KiethBlackLion Registered Member

    As much as I am for protecting the public from criminals (both sexual and non-sexual offenders), I can't completely agree with allowing the IDs of all sex offenders to be released. I have a very good, personal story to back this up.

    A few years ago I met this guy and his wife through mutual friends. He was my age (early 20s) and he ran his own youth ministry. He was nice guy, laid back, but he had his personal problems during high school and turned to God for guidance and had been involved in church ever since. He was considered a sex offender because he had sex with his girlfriend. At the time, he was 18 and she was 15. This wasn't a case of sexual predatory or anything like that. They were a legitimate couple and they had no real problems. The problem came when they broke up and to get revenge on him, the girl's mother brought statutory rape charges against him. For several years he was under probation, wasn't allowed to do some things and it created a real problem for him because his identity was made public. I don't think he had to register as a sex offender, which would have made matters worse. Me and this guy have become really good friends. I've volunteered with his church on many occassions, helping out with youth concerts and such. Under a law where "one size fits all", this guy wouldn't be able to live out a normal life because of the registry and his privacy being taken away.

    The reason I state the above story is because not everyone convicted is a true sex offender. However, the way the media handles things, everyone is considered in the same boat. I like the idea of having sex offender registration and public IDs, however there needs to be a line that has to be crossed before IDs are made public. Not everyone is a child molestor, not everyone is a pedophile, some cases aren't as severe as others and that needs to be taken into account.

    It wouldn't be much different than if a teacher was accused of raping or molesting a student. Even if the teacher is innocent, all of the the humilation and ridicule and embarrassment they had to endure can't be taken away. If someone made one bad mistake and had sex with someone they shouldn't have and got convicted and were forced to reveal their identity, there is no real way for that person to make up for their mistake and live a normal life if they wanted to.
     
  3. dDave

    dDave Guardian of the Light V.I.P.

    It's definitely the general public's right to know who these people are, it was their own choice to do such a thing so they should be recognized for what they did so people can be aware of them.

    I agree with that, it's not fair to classify people under this system unless they are proven guilty somehow.
     
  4. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    I agree with Kieth. There's another area where people commonly get records of "sex offense" that are not really true: during divorce or custody battles. "Divorcing spouse may adopt a distorted perception of what is happening with the children and believe that sexual abuse is happening as a result. Divorcing parents are often willing to see the worst in their spouses and this may lead to a belief in sexual abuse. Some divorcing parents are simply angry and want revenge. While cases of revenge are very rare, they do occur." I know several divorced dads that had to go through this.
    ------
    Do you feel the same way for all other criminals or just the ones who are charged with sex offense?
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  5. bball4life

    bball4life Alfred :: Gotham Hero

    Kieth has a good point. I think that only the id's of child molesters, rapists, ect. sholud be released to public.
     
  6. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Well if you owned a company and were in the process of hiring people don't you think you'd want to know if any of them had a criminal history and to what extent/type of crimes, etc?

    I think the public has the right to know. In cases of divorce or other instances where it's not definite or enough for the person to be considered a future threat then maybe it should still be noted but not to the same degree.

    As for the sex offenders though, wouldn't you want to know if your neighbor had served time for such crimes? We are talking legitimate criminal behavior, not "he said, she said" divorce cases unless actual evidence was shown to prove one way or another.
     
  7. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    What I'm getting at is that I know there is already information (available on the net) that you can consult to find out which of your neighbors have sexual offense records. Would one's criminal background something that might interest me? Maybe. But it seems there's only interest for sex offenders and not all other criminals. I may be wrong, but can you consult the same things on the net? A map of your neighborhood showing each ex-criminal's residence and crime details (not related to sex)?

    I also think there's a difference between making the info available when you do a background research on someone (eg. someone who applies for a job openly submits himself to this type of investigation) and making anyone's private information public like they wear scarlet letter on their heads. How do expect them to integrate into society with such stigma? If we believe they shouldn't integrate at all (that they cannot be rehabilitated) then maybe it's better we just lock them up in an institute.

    Unfortunately, in some divorce related cases of sex offense the rulings are only based on "he said, she said" ("she said" often wins).


    Taking this to another level, what about making it available for everyone to see the mental records of our neighbors. I'd like to to know too if I'm living close to someone who is being treated for psycopathological impairment especially those that risk to be violent to others. But that is considered invasion of privacy, isn't it? That's why those who sell firearms cannot check if they're selling it to an unstable person with history of violence. Oh, but they can check if the person has a record of sex offense. :lol:
     
  8. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Yeah I agree there are some inconsistencies for sure. There are definitely pros and cons. Obviously whatever we agree on here at GF won't matter when it comes to actual lawmaking anyway but it never hurts to toss some ideas around. :D

    How are such laws in France?
     
  9. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    We have a casier judicier that records all our naughtiness. Unless the offense is sexually related or related to major violence, the record can be stricken off the casier after a few years, amnesty, or rehabilitation. It's only us who can obtain this record and give/show it to people who ask it from us. But certain offices may be able to access it like public offices (for employment purposes in the public sector), military, or some employers whose jobs offered are "sensitive" to specific offenses (perhaps banks, childcare positions for example).
     
  10. Rectify88

    Rectify88 Registered Member

    As much as I am a supporter of Privacy, The Sex Offenders gave up that right. They shouldn't be listed on a list of a "one size fits all" calliber, but they should be catagorized but still reveled. Online they should have there level next to thiere name. Jobs should have a level cut-off as well.
     

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