Tam posted something a few days ago on “Pedophile Acres”, a name given to a trailer park in Florida that is heavily populated by sex offenders.   I pointed out in the comments:

I’m with a lot of the other readers. Most people think “sex offender” means someone who rapes children. Not so. I had a friend got nailed for being topless on a deserted beach, and plead to disorderly because indecent would have labeled her a sex offender and required registration. Nor do I think it just that the life of a 19 year old is ruined forever because he had sex with his 16 year old girlfriend, which can happen in some states. My father was concerned when he found out a sex offender had moved into the neighborhood, until he found out his offense was mooning someone… got charged with indecent.

The government has blown all credibility on this issue with me. I don’t favor sex offender registries anymore, because I wouldn’t be surprised to found out that most of the folks on it are not really any danger so society.

Well, today, Glenn linked to a piece that basically details exactly what I was talking about.  If the states were using these registries to mark truly dangerous people, I wouldn’t have as much of an issue with it, but they aren’t.  This has become one more way for politicians to look like they are getting tough on crime, without actually accomplishing anything.  People hear “sex offender” and automatically assume the worst, and the worms in charge are only too happy to capitalize on it.

7 Responses to “Outrageous”

  1. I’d say this over-inclusion is counter-productive. The more people who first find out there’s a sex offender in the neighborhood, the find out he’s on the list because he took a leak on the side of the road, the less people will pay attention to them.

  2. dwlawson says:

    We were concerned about a registered sex offender whose child our daughter was friends with and my wife went to the house to speak to him. Turns out he was so registered due to having touched his girlfriend’s breast while shoving her during an argument. Yeah, low life, but not a child predator, which is our concern.

    Now the site classifies the types of offenses so it is easier to identify the child sexual predators.

  3. Ninth Stage says:

    Guys, you’re missing the point. Putting so many people on the sex-offender registry serves two purposes:

    One. The government can claim it is “doing something.”

    Two. Most importantly, the .gov gains power, support and cash. News stories siting the ever increasing numbers of “sex offenders” coupled with sensationalized reports of actual sex crimes against children lead to calls for the government to do something. The government says it requires “resources” (your tax money) and “tools” (ever more repressive laws) to protect The Childrenâ„¢.

    Goto One.

    (insert Ben Franklin quote about Essential Liberty, Temporary Freedom and Deserving Neither.)

  4. anon says:

    In a lot of college towns, public urination will score you an ‘indecent exposure’ as well.

  5. Alcibiades McZombie says:

    Well, it’s legal to pee your pants. Then you won’t risk being arrested.

    Alternatively, a crafty inventor could solve this problem by modifying a basic pair of “drinking pants”. Or maybe a special pair of “drinking underwear”.

  6. straightarrow says:

    I know a man who was given an “indecent exposure” citation back before all this registry business. It was admitted by the cop that nobody had or could have seen anything and he hadn’t witnessed it either, but when he asked the man why he was stopped by the roadside, he truthfully answered that he just couldn’t make it to the nearest rest area or restroom.

    Although he had taken precautions to ensure that no one was exposed to his activity, the cop said that now that he knew about it he could cite him. I begged my friend to return to Wisconsin and fight it. He said it wasn’t worth the hassle, it was only a $15 fine and no big deal.

    Then the laws changed. He is now a registered sex offender. For indecent exposure in a situation where no one or no thing was actually exposed.

    Stopped in a little cafe in Illinois once, and on the bulletin board by the door was a thick sheaf of papers with a list of all the sex offenders in this lightly populated highly rural county. When I remarked to the owner that they seemed to have a high incidence of bad folks for such a small population, he let out with a string of epithets that would have done me proud. Bottom line it was all bullshit. He said he knew most of the men on that list and in almost every case they were married to the women they supposedly sexually molested and had children with them.. It seems they got on the list for being caught in sexual activity as teens for the most part, with their girlfriends and fiances who weren’t of a majority and whose mothers could exact revenge. No real crime, nor even anything not to be expected in a normal population of young people, yet many of them were forever marked for life as testament to tyranny, but commitment to ineffectuality of stated objectives by our politicians.

  7. The political use of scapegoats goes way back, “sex-offender” is an nearly equal current label used the same way. It is too broad a term as yes, peeing in public,and a few other things are register required offences. I know too, (first hand) that a sex offender who was actually the victim is convicted and registered as the perpetrator. He had a breakdown, called 911 on himself in suicidal moment and police came, drank the vodka, smoked cigarettes regardless of gas fumes that ignited from “cigarette” that was dropped and his house was burned and an illegal search done, along with some scavenging and 2 questionable images were found. The guy was beaten,tortured and made police more vicious as he was investigated only to find he was not spoken of badly even by local kids. He was a teenager in photo being abused by adult. He has a right to his own history, he hoped to find out why photo existed from minor years. The property victim, Owner of house) hired the defense which was poorly done at best.
    He was told after 14days of torture and indifference (no medical treatment for bleeding injuries caused by police)that he say what they want or he “never will get out of here”, he knew what that meant, he had seen a 60plus year old woman in next NEW cell leave on stretcher after 6 hours inside, a 22 year old retarded woman strapped to chair and hit multiple times (cell across from me) and was aware he could end up dead here. He had to NOT say who it was in photo, only in was his. He copped a plea to hope to live to fight another day, he alone appealed all the way to US supreme court. He was denied.
    His mother died while he was back in prison a 5th time for fake $40 fee said unpaid by parole agent, the agent would not look at the cancelled (paid) check and carted him back ,the other times he was “violated” was due to state closing shelter/and or policy changes.
    His family sent the parole agent(unnamed)they had his named, I am not going to say it. He had twenty-one agents in 3 years, 5 of them were in total disregard for rules, decency, no wonder his family’s legal right to have him a “travel-permit” to see his ill and dying mother one time, the agent and agency and IDOC ignored all contact,requests for six months. Now the state of Illinois in sb #1397 public act 95-640 going into effect june 1st 2008 will reduce the notification period more and knowingly ignore the needed language in the law.
    It does not mention (to exempt weekends and holidays) so 3 days means to the COMPLIANT and LOW/NO risk offenders and all rest too, that if you are laid off on a friday and monday is a holiday there is no way in hell/in reality to comply. They do not talk about logistics and implementation , but police are only open to register limited short buss hours mon to fri NO HOLIDAYS and often are not there anyway, so how can compliance be possible. The sex offender unit of Illinois State Police (one on the forms) said “No one listens to us” and were aware of the problem but have not made a memo or policy that says as long as they are here at first possible time we are open to register a change of JOB,HOUSING,SCHOOLING in 3 DAYS.
    Make hoops make them higher and higher and fill the prisons up and destroy more families. They are people too.
    Talking to the bill sponsors was a sickening hour , they think “ALL ” “sex Offenders should be locked up for life”. Nice, and what we have is old-fashioned grand-standing and the lowest common denominator type of legal manipulation by politics. The precedences set are in law tools to move onto better controls of all people who never had a record at all. And how can the SURVIVAL instinct , which is to say responsible normal adult behavior of looking for work,home etc, yet the first thing a sex offender must do is go to police,remember to go to police every change in life. Can you imagine how it is? Your threatened by an beast and if you cant comply since time-machines are not available and even the ACLU of Illinois has avoided any issues in this mess. The guy I mentioned is gifted and has saved lives of others in his work , yet he wishes they would just do what they are going to at current rate which is to round ’em up and kill them all.
    They already started that with halloween round-ups yet never has a molestation case ever happened on halloween by a convicted offender. And laws about lights, c-mon in safety lights are on , and answer the door for no one? (except police).
    If America continues with this direction it will be to all of our demise. We will no longer be a free people and will have given permission , (consent) to be GOVERNED BY FEARS.
    Think of history and know “there is nothing to fear but fear itself” , and a “Nation divided against itself is brought to desolation”, these truths we see in Iraq,Sudan(Darfur), and many other places and degrees. Representatives and other officials have used PERSONAL prejudices and motives to exalt themselves and use emotion to sell.