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Shooting of two registered sex offenders

  1. Apr 18, 2006 #1
    I read this article in today's newspaper. The way I see it, it doesn't make any difference who's photo is posted on the web. Everyone is subject to being the target of an attack whether they're a sex offender or not. Protecting our children is the most important thing no matter what the cost. I'm sure this isn't the first time that this has happened although I haven't heard about it.


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  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2006 #2
    Believe it or not, even creepy evil sex offenders have civil rights, or at least a right not to be hunted down and killed. In the name of public safety, you can justify all kinds of "reasonable" intrusions on people's civil liberties.

    Ever got a speeding ticket? I want to require you to paint your car bright orange so I can stay clear of your car and protect my children.

    When did they stop teaching "The Scarlet Letter" in high school?
  4. Apr 19, 2006 #3
    There was another article in the Kennebec Journal with the headline, Attacks on sex offenders fuels debate about registry. The online edition of the Kennebec Journal didn't include the article but there is a link for the story in the Portland Press Herald. The editor used a headline of Killings kindle vigilante debate. It's interesting how editors choose different titles for the same story.

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  5. Apr 19, 2006 #4


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    I think it's OK to have a registry that's only accessible to law enforcement (and only if there's a "need to know"). Public domain registries, flyers to neighbors etc. are just *too damned much persecution*.

    It's sobering when one realises that in the US, one can become a "registered sex offender" for being caught peeing in public after having a pint too much.

    EITHER only the most serious offences should qualify for the public registry (forcible rape, molestation of a very underaged individual etc. while removing obviously mild stuff like public urination and non-confrontational flashing/exhibitionism/voyeurism) OR the entire registry should be made secret and for police/FBI use alone. The way it is now just screams "witchhunt".
  6. Apr 19, 2006 #5
    We had witch hunts(more like mobs protesting) In our area after a national newspaper published the names and addresses of sex offenders, I seem to remember they smashed up a house were a sex offender used to live and a paediatrician was attacked outside his work place(no one said these people were particularly bright) I really can't see the need for this sort of thing at all, this sort of information should be available from your local council for a fee, but it shouldn't be a matter of public record.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2006
  7. Apr 19, 2006 #6
    The proper deterant for this sort of thing would be to throw the people in jail. If you destroyed private property then you should be punished to the full extent of the law. Also, in this case, if you murdered people then you should be sent to jail for life. That would certanly be far more effective and just, rather then just hiding the sex offender list. There is a very good reason to have it free, public information. There is a high percentage of offenders who, even after years, repeat the crime. It is something I would want to be aware of if I was moving into a community.
    Personally, I think the best way to stop sex offenders being attacked is keep them in jail. Of course, that's because I think sexual crimes should have mandatory life or capital punishment, so I admit that the solution isn't with bias.
  8. Apr 19, 2006 #7
    I'm trying to find specifics but so far as I have read it seems that only the more severe of registered sex offenders are placed in the public registry. The list of those that are eligible to have their file removed from the public registry seems pretty bad itself.

    Available for a fee upon request? So a parent should be able to use their telepathic powers to know that a sexual preditor has entered their neighborhood and then go to the city council to request further information so they can protect their children FOR A FEE?!
    Tell me, if you were on that city council and the parents of a victim of a sexual preditor you allowed to live in your city asked you why you did not let them know there was a child molester living next door to them what would you tell them?
    Would you tell them that you were protecting him? That it was more important to you to protect a child molester than to protect their daughter who wound up being molested by the man?
  9. Apr 19, 2006 #8
    "Police hope that Marshall's laptop computer, recovered from the bus, will help explain what led the Canadian to target the two men in Maine."

    I think I know why...

    # of gun homicides in 1998 for Canada and US:
    * 151 people in Canada
    * 11,789 people in the United States

    They come over here and murder people. Those jerks! Then again, those 151 deaths in Cadana were probably from American tourists.
  10. Apr 19, 2006 #9


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    I think this is definitely walking a thin-line. The best thing i can think of is notifications mailed to people when a sex-offender is going to move into a neighborhood, but not 100% public information. You should also be able to freely request information about sex-offenders in a specific area but you have to give a verifiable (as best as can be done) name and identity to who you are so that if these people do happen to get killed, they'll know who pulled up their records and they'll be investigated on the off chance they did do what these people do.

    I think in the end, this is the sort of thing we will HAVE to live with. We have to weight our decision here. The possibility of someone getting a list of sex offenders and murdering them vs. the possibility of sex offenders getting into neighborhoods undetected by the neighborhood. I believe the later is more important.

    As someone noted (although i'd like confirmation that this is even the case), peeing in public is considered a sex offense so i would think some reform measures need to be taken to insure people on this list do pose realistic threats against people. Then again that sure is opening a can of worms as to what's realistic and what's not.
  11. Apr 19, 2006 #10
    I'm trying to find more on this. Wiki says that 25% of registered sex offenders aren't on the public list. The CA Megan's Law site shows a series of crimes that can get you on the general list, the least of which being Lewd Conduct. The story I'm reading right now states that general Lewd Conduct charges which include public nudity and public urination require three convictions to get on the list and ofcourse that doesn't even mean that you will land on the public list.
  12. Apr 19, 2006 #11


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    I don't think notifying the neighbors that a sex offender "may" be moving in is appropriate or necessary. If the guy has done his time, he's supposed to be rehabilitated right ? Why paint him with a big scarlet letter wherever he goes ?

    What about murderers ? Don't the neighbors have a "right" to know about them too ? What about people who've previously DUI-ed, that sure makes the neighborhood unsafe with drunks driving around ?!

    This is the thin end of the wedge. Have a classified database that can only be opened by concerned law enforcement personnel who have a need to know to solve a current, open case. The public has no legitimate "right" to be told these things. There should be an absolute right to privacy.

    As to those people wringing their hands and asking "but how can we keep our kids safe ?", I have to say you are pretty dumb. You should have measures already in place that minimise the chance of a predator coming for your children regardless of whether or not you "know" someone in the neighborhood has a predilection for this sort of thing. Intrusive privacy violations are no substitute for universal preventive measures and simple common sense parenting.

    This is like a doctor or a nurse saying "but how can I prevent myself from getting HIV/Hep C from a patient if I don't know his/her status ?" That's why they have "Standard Precautions" to be applied uniformly to all patients.

    In any case, the potential predators you don't know about (and believe me, there are plenty out there) are more dangerous than the past ones you do know about.
  13. Apr 19, 2006 #12
    Most murderers are people who have done so because they were robbing a liquer store or some such thing. The murders who kill people simply because they like to kill people generally get life sentences and are never released back into the public. That isn't the case with sexual predators. So a neighborhood may have a guy living there who once killed someone and they likely wont have to worry about this person kidnapping their children. You can't exactly say the same thing about a neighborhood where a man lives that has a sexual appetite for little boys.

    Someone I know just had their two year old daughter ****ed to death by a man she had known for ten years. Please explain to me how one knows through common sense who is and who is not a pedophile? Should parents just be paranoid that all men no matter who they are may potentially try to molest their children? The most common person to molest a child is one that the child and the parents trust.

    Exactly, and without the registry no one knows now do they?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2006
  14. Apr 19, 2006 #13
    As bad as it may sound, no one has any right to publically outcast a member of society for a past criminal episode. The guy went to jail, and did his time. No one has a right to resentence him after he already served his time.
  15. Apr 19, 2006 #14


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    The problem is that being put on a sex-offenders list IS part of your punishment. I agree with you when they are put on the list after they were sentenced and the sentence didnt include the list but if the sentence is made to include being put on that last, it is part of your punishment. We need to remember that the #1 priority of a government is to protect its citizens. Wow my keyboard is acting weird right now...
  16. Apr 19, 2006 #15
    Such criminals are public outcasts. That's why people who commit heinous crimes are usually sentenced to life in prison. They are not fit to be part of the general population and I think that the pedophiles that commit terrible crimes against children should not be released back into society. I do not however condone someone taking the law into their own hands and killing people even though there is at least one person whom I would be happy to hear one day was anally raped until he died of hemorrhaging and internal bleeding.
  17. Apr 19, 2006 #16


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    My view on this is that if they still pose such a great risk to society (which, in some cases, they do), then a registry is not the solution, but rather tougher penalties and longer prison sentences. If someone is deemed unable to be rehabilitated, then just like a cold-blooded murderer, give them a life sentence, in a mental institution if warranted, don't leave it up to the neighbors to take on the task of punishing them.

    You don't know, and having a registry to give you a false sense of security that you do is dangerous in and of itself. Do you trust more the stranger down the street who is not on the list just because they aren't on the list, even if it's only because they haven't been caught yet? As for your middle question about being paranoid, I'd say, no, they should be cautious about EVERYONE, man or woman. You don't have to be paranoid to be cautious. What good does the registry really do? Do you suddenly start leaving your children with random neighbors unsupervised just because they aren't on the list? If you're looking to hire someone as a babysitter, you don't need a registry to be able to do a criminal background check on them.

    And with the registry, you still don't know.
  18. Apr 19, 2006 #17


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    Whoa whoa whoa, what's with this strawman argument of "Well since we can't really know everything, we might as well know nothing"??? Where is the logic in this??
  19. Apr 19, 2006 #18
    And that, IMO, is excessive punishment, as it is a sentence that has an infinite term to it. It is, in effect, a life sentence to public humilation.

    Yes, including those who go through the criminal justice system.

    Then you need to change the severity of the punishment to fit the crime. A more severe punishment is acceptable, an excessive punishment is not. It's subtle, but the difference is there. You clearly fall under the criminalogical view point that the punishment must be so sever as to deter the crime from happening. (In effect, deterrence theory.)
  20. Apr 19, 2006 #19


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    It's not a strawman argument, it's an argument that it lulls people into a false sense of security thinking they do know everything.

    I still think it's a violation of civil rights to brand someone for life if they've already served their time and been deemed fit to return to society.
  21. Apr 19, 2006 #20


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    Well when you're talking about a crime that probably scarred a young child or young woman for life... isn't a life sentence to public humiliation a bit fitting? Maybe even leniant?
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