The Beginning of the Registry
The sex offender laws were pushed into legislature, in 1994, in reaction to the kidnapping and murder of Jacob Wetterling (crime committed in 1989), and they were further enforced in 1996 after the rape and murder of Megan Kanka (crime committed in 1994) and in 2006 for the kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh (a crime that was committed in 1981).
It goes without saying that these crimes are unforgivable, and the exact reason for a capital punishment discussion. But do the crimes of few call for the mortification of nearly 1 million people, today? Mind you, these laws are based on crimes that happened nearly 30-40 years ago.
The sex offender label was introduced to keep track of those who posed a threat to society, a predator to children. And even then the information was only meant for law enforcement, not to equip the public to further displace offenders from society.
More importantly, do these laws keep society safe? How could they?
It is contemptible that our own government tells us we are safer because of their broad labeling and check-up process.
Main Requirements of Sex Offenders (varies state to state)
- Check in with law enforcement twice per year
- May not live within 1,000-2,500 ft of a place where children congregate.
- Most of their information relating to residence, automobile, online activity, education, employment, etc. is stored in databases.
How could these requirements prevent crime? Not all sex offenders are on probation or parole, which means they only check in with law enforcement, on average, twice per year. Sure they can't live in certain locations, but is that suppose to impede a criminal?
Worse yet, a sex offender could be an 18 year old who had consensual sex with a 14 year old, or a 50 year old who raped his children. Although these two individuals will receive vastly different prison sentences, they will both be considered sexual offenders and are treated the same once released back into the public. A complete disgrace, that outright misleads society.
Labeling someone a sex offender does not prevent that person from re offending. It never can and it never will. Those who are true predators, who truly deserve a lifetime of misery, commit unspeakable crimes. These individuals are not wired the same way, often times being abused themselves or with mental disabilities. A person like that - will re offend if they so desire. In fact, we find it incredibly insulting that our own government would deem someone an "extreme threat to society", yet release them back into society and only check up on them twice per year.
The sex offender laws deserve to be heavily scrutinized and it begins by removing the thousands of sex offenders that do not fit the profile.