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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, September 16, 2011

SHORT EYES, LONG PUNISHMENT

"Get a rope."

Sex Offender sticker
I think anyone who rapes children should die. I think anyone who molests or sexually abuses children should be beaten within an inch of his life, castrated, and thrown in a pit for the rest of their miserable life. If I had a daughter and some monster touched her in any way she found uncomfortable I'd have to be restrained from pounding on that scumbag with whatever I found handy.

That said, I'm a bit uncomfortable with how the legal system deals with "sex offenders" as they're called. Keep in mind this covers a 19 year old guy who sleeps with a 17 year old in some states. This isn't just the kind of monster who feels up a 5 year old, its anyone who engages in any sexual activity with anyone under 18, when they are older than 18.

I have no problem with jail time and sanction to punish this kind of thing. I have no problem with statutory rape laws, and so on. Its what happens after they get out that makes me uncomfortable. Everywhere in the nation, if you're convicted of a sex crime like this, you're ruined for life. In principle I can support that, but not in how its carried out.

For example, most communities require someone who has already served all their jail and probation time to perpetually, til the day they die, never come near children and tell all families in their neighborhood that they moved in and are a sex offender. Forever. Until the day they die. Every time they move, and in some places, every time someone else moves in.

Or take this recent example, from Tennessee, where convicted sex offenders are banned from any public library. I do understand the desire to protect children, and I do think there is some truth to the idea that most short eyes never get over their sick lust for kids. I don't think that all of them always are that way, and some may learn to not do so.

It just seems to me that this is punishment after punishment. Its making someone pay forever for a crime that they allegedly paid for in prison. If their jail time is to punish them for what they did, why do they then have to pay for the rest of their lives outside jail? Why not just put them in jail for life instead of this kind of sanction? I can't see the justice in treating some criminals in this manner but not others.

We don't make murderers tell everyone nearby they slashed up six babies with a razor but are out of jail now. We don't usually make rapists tell every woman in the neighborhood they raped three women. Once they get out of jail, their term is done, they've said to have paid their debt to society and justice is served.

It seems to me that if these people are so horrible that they are a permanent threat to society and they need to be punished forever, then they should remain separated from society and punished in prison. The problem here is letting them out in the first place, if that's the case.

This just seems unjust, or at least improperly applied justice. I want to protect kids too. I want people who prey on and abuse them to suffer and pay too. I just can't see this as being the right way to go about it.

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