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Sex Offenders Map

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(Originally posted by The General on The Benjo Blog. )

Yet another demonstration of the mulitude of applications for GoogleMaps: Map Sex Offenders. Sex offenders are properly regarded as one of the most detestable forms of life on the planet. In a free, moral society such predators would be ostracized into oblivion.

On that note, however, it is worth noting that the category of "sex offender" is often stretched to include individuals who clearly don't belong to it. This letter (via Crime and Federalism) details the injustice that can befall an innocent mistake.

Edited by softwareNerd
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As implemented today, the real problem with this list is not the "additional" punishment part, but the "cruel and unusual" punishment part. Cruel in the limited sense that it is disproportionate to the crime. When a typical adult seriously molests a child, everything we know tells us that there is a high propensity that that person will do so again. It is not cruel and unusual to keep certain sex-offender in jail for life, just as it is not cruel and unusual to keep certain other serious criminals in jail. It is also just that — at the borderline — the law identifies a set of offenders where the crime is almost serious enough to justify life imprisonment, but not quite. For such offenders, a prison term, followed by being on "a list" is just.

The problem is that most of the people on the list are convicted of minor offenses. For instance, many have been convicted of using the mail to order sexual material containing pictures of minors. Even if we grant that this ought to be criminal, it is surely not the same as someone who broke into a house a raped someone. Recently, some women walked up to a set of cops (I think it was in California) and threatened to lift their shirts and expose their breasts. [i forget what they were protesting]. The cops threatened them with arrest and also said that they could go on the sex-offenders list if they did that. Though they would probably never had carried through on that threat, it indicates how "cruel" the list can be relative to the crime.

The problem with the list is that it uses "sex" as the determinant. Instead, we should have a "serious criminals at large".

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I don't think it's necessary to have a "serious criminals at large list" as much as it is to have a sex offenders list. I'm not opposed to that idea but, if you choose only one group of criminals, sex offenders are the ones to choose. Except in the rarest of cases, people do not have a psychological predisposition to rob banks and go on killing sprees. Sex offenders are, almost without exception, pathologically inclined to commit their disgusting crimes.

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The problem with the real sex offenders (pedophiles, rapists) is that in the vast majority of cases they are incurable. Putting them back into the society is quite pointless, and I've actually read somewhere that the fact that they are being ostracized makes it even worse (it's almost impossible for them to get a good job, all their neighbors know what they did).

If I was a parent, I sure wouldn't want any of them living anywhere near my family. You never know when one may snap. And the satelite tracking won't be of much help, if he decides to snatch a kid and kill it within a few minutes. So what's the solution? Until a method is developed, which guarantess 100% success rate in curing them (some sort of neurological castration), I'm afraid the only way to keep everyone else safe, is to keep them locked up.

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The only problem with what you are saying is that you are equating all pedophiles with child molesters and rapists. Which is not true. A person or group that admire's kids sexually in their own mind(s) has commited no crime. Unless you want to create sometype of Orwellian thought crime. Then where do stop?

Edited by EC
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