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Monitored for life

  1. Apr 7, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    I just saw two interesting approaches intended to be used for repeat offenders.

    Sex offenders could be sentenced to an ankle bracelet for life.

    Drunk drivers could be required to install an ignition system breathalyzer test in their cars, for life.

    Both ideas seem reasonable, but it does seem that a notable new trend in behavior control is emerging in the justice system.
     
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  3. Apr 7, 2005 #2
    Wait, all this is after they've done jail time? So it's to prevent re-offenders right?

    Funny, I thought that was a country where people had to commit a crime before they were arrested for it.

    This will fix a lot.
     
  4. Apr 7, 2005 #3
    I don't mind the breathalizer, since I think every car should have one.
     
  5. Apr 7, 2005 #4

    Moonbear

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    Well, one problem with the breathalyzer thing is you can get a reading on those for things other than consuming alcohol. Gargling with some mouthwashes or a recent spritz of breath mint spray can give you a positive reading. I wouldn't mind seeing that in lieu of jail time. Pay a fine and have the thing installed in the car. However, keeping it on for life seems a little excessive. I'm sure someone could go through court records of repeat offenders and get an idea of what the typical time frame is from when they commit the first offense to when they are picked up on a second offense, tack on a year or so as a safety margin, and then if you get past that amount of time with no repeat offenses and have learned your lesson (part of that breathalyzer in the car is that it forces someone to stop and think twice before getting behind the wheel, so they develop that habit), then your time is done and the device can be removed.

    As for sex offenders, I really don't know what to do about them. It somewhat depends on the nature of the offense. A huge range of offenses are included under the umbrella term "sexual offender." I don't think the same penalty should apply to some young guy who was drunk and got carried away with an equally drunk young woman and wound up convicted of rape as to someone who is molesting children or raping strangers at gunpoint in parking lots. I'm also not sure how monitoring them on an ankle bracelet is going to prevent them from repeating the offense. For some offenses, I do think lifelong psychiatric treatment/monitoring may be necessary because they are a consequence of some underlying psychiatric problem that is not "curable," while others really are stupid mistakes where someone can learn their lesson and never do it again.
     
  6. Apr 7, 2005 #5

    russ_watters

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    Like you said, there is a wide range, but for the real sickos I'm OK with a tattoo on the forehead.
     
  7. Apr 7, 2005 #6

    Moonbear

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    Those are the ones, that if they really are that bad, then they shouldn't be back on the streets at all. Afterall, is it going to help me stay safe to see that tatoo on some guy's forehead when he jumps from between a row of parked cars in an empty parking lot at night and attacks me? The real sickos belong in a psychiatric institution for life, or until a real cure is discovered to treat the illness.

    Likewise, should someone assume their children are safe in their neighborhood because nobody is wandering around with "child molester" tattooed on their forehead? Every repeat offender had a first offense. I think much of the emphasis put on sex offender registries and branding them for life (literally or figuratively) does nothing more than give people a false sense of security that because nobody is registered in their neighborhood, they are safe and their children are safe.
     
  8. Apr 7, 2005 #7

    SOS2008

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    Now don't freak out at my liberal stance. I feel repeat sex offenders should have surgery, not ankle bracelets. As for the breathalyzer, I don't feel someone should be punished for life. Often a ticket alone would make a person think twice in the future. Once again, it seems more appropriate to distinguish whether they are repeat offenders, as this would take into account the guy who ate too many liqueur-filled chocolates (a recent case) similar to Moonbear's comments.
     
  9. Apr 7, 2005 #8

    Moonbear

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    Surgery (I assume you mean castration) doesn't necessarily work (the desire is still there, although somewhat diminished, even if the physical response isn't; I don't know if it's published yet, but I saw a presentation at a conference a couple years ago reporting on this in pedophiles who were chemically castrated). This also presumes all sexual offenders are men.
     
  10. Apr 7, 2005 #9

    loseyourname

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    Come on Russ, they'd be getting jumped everywhere they went. Wouldn't last more than a couple weeks. I wouldn't mind a removal of their testicles. No children, no testoterone. Maybe some shock therapy could remove the aggression. I don't know. There has to be some way to do it. But don't subject them to the constant threat of getting their asses kicked.
     
  11. Apr 7, 2005 #10

    Evo

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    I keep thinking about that 18 year old kid that posted here last year that was arrested for having concensual sex with his 17 year old girlfriend right after he turned 18. Her parents had him arrested.

    He will now be labeled a sex offender for rape of a minor for the rest of his life. Is that fair?

    I guess we need to know the facts behind the arrest before we start getting scared and passing judgement.
     
  12. Apr 7, 2005 #11
    The SeekDestroy 'innocent' sex-offender thread

    No, they did not. Here is the thread:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=346783&highlight=girlfriend+sex+rape#post346783



     
  13. Apr 7, 2005 #12
    In extreme cases, you could just simply remove the genetalia totally, no testes or penis. The great thing is, there's already a legal precedent for it set up in the Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell, in which the Supreme Court ruled that because a woman was feeble-minded, from a feeble-minded mother, and would likely give rise to feeble-minded offspring, that her complaint about having been made sterile was not valid, since it was for the greater good of the populace as a whole that she be removed from the gene pool.

    There's a great example of this in the new movie Sin City, if any of you are interested...
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2005
  14. Apr 7, 2005 #13

    Moonbear

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    Do you think penile penetration is the only form of sexual molestation? I don't want to be graphic for the younger audiences here, but there are sexual offenses that violate others without penile penetration (indeed, when I think of the "worst" of offenders, it's these other forms of violation that come to my mind). Removing the penis also would present problems in terms of voiding urine, so it's not just removing a sexual organ. And this still presumes that sexual offenders are always male. Women can also be sexual offenders; what organ would you remove from them to prevent repeat offenses?
     
  15. Apr 8, 2005 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    It seems to me that forced surgery comes under the heading of cruel and unusual punishment. Now if, like in A Clockwork Orange, the offender agrees to this as an alternative to life in prison, maybe... Still, that is getting into some scary stuff. Not to mention that we need to think about the innocent that get convicted, not just the guilty. Innocent people will be convicted.

    Note also that this only applies, thus far at least, to third time offenders, or greater. This would not apply to some examples cited.
     
  16. Apr 8, 2005 #15
    If society is threatened by these people, they shouldn't be out in the first place, this has no usefull purpose.
     
  17. Apr 8, 2005 #16

    BobG

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    I don't have much faith in behavior controls like that. For the offenders that you can safely say represent a risk to the public, keep them confined and off the street.

    That especially applies to sex offenders and doubly so for child molesters. The issue goes beyond "Better to set a hundred guilty men free than to convict one innocent man" - in reality, setting them free winds up being "Better to molest a hundred children than to convict one innocent man". (What are the odds that you're confining an innocent person or one that's 'cured'?)

    I wouldn't have serious objections to keeping chronic drunk drivers in prison until we're sure they've overcome their drinking problems, even if that winds up being a life imprisonment. Alcoholism is a disease - until they've overcome it, they will drink and they will drive regardless of the fine or a suspended license - they're just not in full control of their faculties.
     
  18. Apr 8, 2005 #17

    russ_watters

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    Though I'm not all that sympathetic, I recognize that practically, it wouldn't work (I was only half serious anyway).

    I'm in favor of forced confinement for the real nuts (if not in jail, involuntary institutionalization).
     
  19. Apr 8, 2005 #18

    SOS2008

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    The key word is repeat offenders - where the chances of innocence are not likely. Also, the punishment would need to be different depending on the crime, e.g., rapist versus child molester, etc.

    I would need to research this, but I believe the cost per prisoner was around $40,000/year (in the 90's?) which is more than many American's annual income (not to mention prisoners receive health care including organ transplants? It should be the other way around - Death row prisoners should be organ donors.). The reason for finding alternative punishment is to keep law-abiding citizens from being victimized financially as well. Aside from this reason, I would not want to add drunks to our overwhelming prison population, but quite frankly, being a drunk is not a criminal matter. It is a disease that needs to be treated -- so prison would be the wrong place for these people.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2005
  20. Apr 8, 2005 #19
  21. Apr 8, 2005 #20
    I've had one son murdered by a drunk driver, who was given 3 previous chances to become a murderer. So monitoring them for life has my vote.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2005
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