Stop the Harassment of Sex Offenders
People shied away from him, as people often do when confronted with a powerful stench. Jesse could not help it, hygiene was not so high on his list of priorities, finding food and shelter were a bit more important. He could not find employment even though he was hardworking and educated. Jesse wanted to work, and as a college graduate, he should have ample opportunity to do so. However, Jesse's life had taken a severe downturn. Shortly after graduation, he met a girl at a bar who was willing to 'celebrate' with him. One thing led to another as things are frequently prone to do and Jesse indulged himself. Unfortunately, the girl was only sixteen (a very mature sixteen), her father learned of Jesse's actions and had the boy arrested. He was convicted of statutory rape and received a slap on the wrist - so to speak. You see, Jesse was now a sex offender and had to register with the state police; his name, address, telephone number, and picture were published and put on the Internet. Almost immediately, he began receiving threatening phone calls and all job prospects dried up. His life was over.
Even though the above is a total fabrication, it still rings true. According to the Charleston Gazette, in 1994, seven-year-old Megan Kanka was kidnaped and killed by a twice convicted sex offender who lived in her neighborhood. People in her neighborhood did not know of his past (Internet: Don't...). This brought about the spread of the so-called 'Megan's laws', states must now keep registers of sex offenders. Some states go a step further with these laws. Janet Reynolds of the Hartford Advocate reports that, in addition to the registry, California legislature voted to make chemical castration mandatory for sex offenders (this law is being considered in at least 12 other states),and in Connecticut, they give blood samples so that their DNA will be on file. Kansas can place offenders who finish their jail sentence in mental institutions instead of allowing them to go free. The Supreme Court of the United States upheld this law (Internet: Reynolds). This seems ridiculous to me, if these people need to be punished more, stiffen their jail time. If they could not be sentenced to a life sentence for their crime, they should not serve a life term. These sex offender registries are equivalent to life sentences. This problem reaches West Virginians as well, if on a lower scale. Kanawha County became the first West Virginia county to publish a sex offender registry when they did so in September. Lucia Moses of the Herald Dispatch reports that on November 12, Cabell County became the second (Moses 1 C). Twenty-four sex offenders, who must register for life, reside in Cabell County (Moses 3 C).
Still, federal law mandates that every state keep a sex offender register. They do not need to publish them. I think that the register should be in the hands of the police, and, in the case of...