When is too much too much (sex offender registry)

Sex Crimes Break the Lock on Juvenile Records

The District Attorney prosecuting this case shouldn’t just be disbarred, but should be taken out back to the whippin’ shed prior to being drawn and quartered. I’m sure it helped his or her statistics, but trying a 10 y.o. for playing doctor? Did no one not look out for the interests of the child?

Jeez, I’m for a registry, but to apply it like this protects no one, helps no one, and serves no one. It’s like using a nuke to kill a cockroach, except only the cockroach will survive the attack.

Of course, the assumption is that Miss DuBuc is not lying in her interview with USA Today.

The reason it’s illegal to have sex with minors (besides being icky) is that they are too young to give informed consent. But dammit, the law says that girl should have known better.

The “crimes” took place when she was 12, i.e., unable to give informed consent herself. (Indeed, if one of her stepbrothers had been 18 instead of 8, he’d have been the one in trouble). It seems very odd to treat her as full adult criminal when she is treated as a child for other purposes.

According to her claims, she didn’t have sex.

No idea whether this is true or not. But I feel some discomfort in suspecting that similarly innocent things can put you on the list.

The sex offender registration laws in this country are part of a modern day witch hunt. The problem is that government is indiscriminately applying severe penalties to all sex offenders, regardless of their circumstances.

A Washington study (pdf) of felons showed that violent sex offenders (who we can all agree are the ones we should be most worried about) have a lower rate of recidivism than every other type of violent criminal (murderers, robbers, assaulters, burglars) except those convicted of manslaughter.

In fact, violent robbers were over twice as likely to re-offend as violoent sex offenders. Where are the mandatory “robber registration” laws? Sex offenders are easy to scape goat, and difficult to publicly defend. It’s an easy subject on which politicians can grandstand and earn some votes on the cheap. They don’t care if they fuck over some people who don’t deserve to be pariahs for the next 25 years of their lives.

The sex registration laws in most of this country are far too broad. There need to be distinctions drawn between more dangerous offenders (someone who violently rapes an eight year old, for example) and those who are less of a threat to society (eg, a nineteen year old convicted of statutory rape of a fifteen year old, or certain behavior of younger kids such as in the case in the OP.) A one size fits all solution, especially when the penalties are so drastic and life altering, is a terrible approach to the problem. The system is fucked up and it needs to be fixed.

Wasn’t there a guy from New England a while ago who was murdered by someone whose mission was to “kill all sex offenders” that he could find on the internet?

The “offender” who was murdered was on the list for having sex with his 15 year old girlfriend while he was 18 (IIRC). After getting out of jail, he married her, they had kids together, and were living happily (despite the complications of being a registered sex offender) until he was killed. By report, his wife and kids grieve deeply.

(Note that I do not condone the “offender”'s actions. But there has to be a mechanism to identify those who are not likely to be predators, and have them face their just punishment, not be hobbled for life by their mistakes

That’s not the point I was trying to make, although I see I made it poorly. On the one hand, she’s too young to give consent, but on the other, she’s old enough to give consent.

Some strange things are considered “sex offenses” to be “registered for”:

  1. Exposing yourself, which also includes brief public nudity, such as a girl taking her top off at a public beach, or urinating in an alley. Not that I don’t hate dudes who pee in alleyways, but “rgeistered sex offender”?

  2. Strippers “going too far” and thus convicted of “public lewdness”. :rolleyes:

  3. Consensual adult gays having sex in a parked car in a secluded area.

The only crimes that should be “registered” are violent sex crimes.

yes it can. In the state of MI (my jurisdiction too), Criminal Sexual Conduct in the second and 4th degrees involve contact of the “breasts, buttocks, groin, thigh” with or without clothes. Penetration means 1st or 3rd degree in MI. She was probably convicted of 2nd degree due to the age of the other kids involved and the fact that she was the elder sibling (family relationship).

the fact that she was older (by quite a bit) meant she’d be the one prosecuted. There’s lots of folks IME on the registry under these circumstances. There is some legislation that limits it for those who were underaged but otherwise consensual, but it wouldn’t apply in this case (her age difference alone would have suggested some lessening of the ability to consent).

I’ve seen folks on the registry for having been convicted of prostitution, and of running a sex phone business from the home.

nationalization of the registry is going to cause further problems as well. Actions in some states which are perfectly legal are considered Criminal Sexual conduct in other jurisdictions. An example given to me by one of the people who run MI’s registries was that in CA, a single count of “indecent exposure” required registration (think Girls GOne Wild, or having sex outside, or 'Guy having to pee"), and once required to register in one state, moving to another state means you have to register there as well.

I got it. I had my sarcasm recognition pills this morning.

And there are hundred of thousands, no millions of our fine upstanding friends and neighbors that are just fine with this application of the law.

If they were not, then the overwhelming numbers of letters and emails and the voting out of the crooked DA’s and Representatives would have already been done … right ?


Face it folks, the majority want it this way…

The “majority” of both parties don’t give a shit about the nuts and bolts of the application of the law. This would be enough for me to vote against the DA in my state, and to let him know why he lost my vote. Doesn’t the DA have any discretion? (honest question, I don’t know) People want to know about the dangerous people in their neighborhood, our legislatures give it to them, people are happy and don’t pay attention to the misuses and abuses. If the “majority” (of the voting public of either party) actually cared about more than the soundbites proferred by their preferred candidate, political turnover would be much, much higher. And that, IMNSHO, would be a great thing.

I didn’t hear about that. Do you have a cite?

But that’s another thing about the registry – it encourages vigilantism, which by its nature is not based on facts.

So, are you in favor of forcing someone to register as a sex offender for 25 years because they were playing doctor when they were ten?

Yeah, right.

Er… I mean, good. From a couple of responses it was unclear whether my meaning was unclear.

Here’s a link to NY Times coverage of a story that is similar:

Killer’s Use of Sex Offender List

Thanks for that, though it’s scanty on information.

What’s scary is the police removed the list when they searched for the assailant, but restored it after they caught him. Gee, good thing they got the one and only crazy vigilante.

So, what? Are you saying that makes it okay?

C’mon people, is it that hard to spot a facetious statement? Here’s a hint - when I suggest whipping and then drawing and quartering the prosecuting attorney, I was not being serious.

Well, maybe a little.

OK, I was dead serious, but still, you get my point.

Far be it from me to put words in his mouth, but I don’t think that’s what he was saying.

I myself am very much against the way the SOR is being misused, and yet I can recognize that the majority disagrees with me.