Sex Offenders

So apparently police in Bradford County, Florida are posting signs outside the homes of convicted rapists and child molesters. David posted a thread about it at the Force Academy (What Do You Think About It?), opening it up for discussion with a picture…

‘Sexual Predator’ signs in Florida, posted by the police.

…and a question: what do you think? If I was interested in talking about it, I probably would’ve just posted in the thread there. But I would really rather not; instead I’m opting to just talk about it “monologue style” for the moment.

Time Served = Debt to Society Paid?

This idea is all well and fine in certain contexts, especially in matters of lesser impact or atrocity, because in those the difference between what “time served” for a given crime is set at and what I think it should be set at isn’t that big of a deal, especially since I don’t have huge issues ‘criminals’ getting off with light sentences when it comes to most things (e.g. theft, drug use or distribution, mildly violent crimes, etc.)…

But I kind of sidestep arguing about whether the debt is fulfilled by the time someone is released when it comes to child molesters. I don’t think the payment demanded of them is nearly enough, is in fact horrifically dwarfed by the magnitude of their crimes. As far as I’m concerned, you don’t fuck with kids (especially not literally). So in my book, the question of whether their time served means their “debt to society” is fulfilled isn’t even worth considering. Without hesitation and without fail I will come back with a “No”. The price they pay isn’t high enough for the crimes committed, so fuck no, their debt is not “fulfilled”.

Registered Sex Offenders

I don’t know about how well other states handle this – and am not really that impressed with California, the one I live in – but around here sex offenders have to be listed when they’re released. I think this is important not only in keeping people aware of where these people are living, but in providing information to the general public about why their name and address is on that list. You see, I don’t give two shits about some 18 or 19 year old guy banging his 16 or 17 year old girlfriend or vice versa (which as far as I know is statutory rape, even with consent of the younger party). That’s someone I won’t bother keeping an eye out for or bother with much, if at all. Someone that touches six year old boys or girls should be shot though, and since they’re unfortunately not, I want to be aware of which local sex offenders on the list possess this inclination, where they live, and so on.

So… What Do I Think About These Signs?

Do I think sex offender should have a sign posted in their yard? No. Even with my belief that they (that is, child molesters) should usually be castrated and shot, this tactic is bullshit. I think this partially because of reasons voiced by Richard…

“This sign is a recipe for disaster. Why?

Well, not because I think the pedophile is ‘innocent’.

But because I think nobody is “innocent”. People aren’t as much better than the paedophile as they think they are. In short, I think most people are shits, they are disgusting, they do disgusting things. But they’re always looking for ways to feel better about themselves. And how do they do that? They find scapegoats. They beat up scapegoats. They burn scapegoats.

The wife-beater is scum. But he will deflect from that by beating up the pedophile.

The dad who spends all the time at work and at the pub and spends no time with his kids is a piece of shit. But he will deflect from that by pissing in the pedophiles letterbox on his way home.

The guy who has failed in everything in his life is a loser. But he will deflect from that by smashing the pedophiles window.

The guy who wanks to abusive rape-style porn on the internet is a sick fuck. But he will deflect from that by setting fire to the pedophiles house.

People need to get to grips with their own sins and shit lives, not look to the modern-day witch as the scapegoat that they can use to escape their own failings.”

…in that I agree with them to a degree, and because you should be aware. There are already ways to be aware, and if you’re not then that’s on you. All a sign is going to accomplish is public ridicule, in and of itself and because of the kind of behavior it’ll inspire, especially since there seems to be nothing on those signs to distinguish an offender that’s got a statutory rape charge under his or her belt versus one that sexually abuses children; what’s that sign in the pic say? ‘Sexual predator’ sorry, but that ain’t good enough.

What I think… is that they shouldn’t really be doing it at all, but that if they are they should at least do it right and specify exactly what the fuck they mean by “sexual predator”, because I don’t consider a teenager over eighteen having consensual sex with his/her slightly under age boyfriend or girlfriend to be rape. If you’re going to saddle someone with a magnet for vandalism, ridicule, and who knows what else, it should at least be the ones that kind of deserve it. In a nutshell: I don’t think they should be putting up signs like that, and if they do then the signs should be more informative, for the benefit of all parties.

(Written April 19th, 2013)

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4 comments

  1. Oh, this is so… weird. Labeling monsters. What, then, is the point of rehabilitation, if it’s once a monster always a monster. Such an odd time we live in. I’m reminded of the bit of dialogue from Sin City where Clive Owen’s character is talking about Marv being born in the wrong century — if he’d been born in another age, he’d be swinging an axe on a battlefield or in the arena as a gladiator.
    I sometimes wonder if there isn’t a better way to channel the rage/sick urges of so-called ‘monsters’ or ‘villains’ in a way that they might be useful to society.
    Other days, I say kill ’em all, so….
    Well written and a fair presentation of differing opinions, rather than the railing diatribe one expects over issues such as this.

    1. I hadn’t considered that angle (born in the wrong age, that is). Definitely food for thought though.

      “Well written and a fair presentation of differing opinions, rather than the railing diatribe one expects over issues such as this.”
      Thank you 😀 .

  2. This issue hits close to home for me, having been molested as a child. My initial reaction – one of emotion rather than thought – is one of “good, let the rest of the neighborhood do what the justice system is too chicken to do to the a**hole.”

    But you know what? That is exactly why this is such a bad idea. Forget the fact that, as you say, there currently is no distinction made between a high school senior who popped his junior girlfriend’s cherry on prom night, and the sicko who gets off on children. And I agree that there should be some distinction made because the two crimes are *not* the same. But there are also a dozen or more other things that could possibly be “wrong” with the case. Maybe he was set-up. Maybe it’s a lewd accusation in a horrible divorce case. And, maybe he shouldn’t be getting out of prison at all. Maybe he didn’t want to, but was forced to in order to make room for more drug arrests.

    Anyway, I just had to voice my agreement with you on this one. Putting signs up in yards is not going to solve the real problem. The real problem is a screwed-up justice system that needs to be fixed.

    1. Yeah; I didn’t really do much justice to that aspect of it, but I’m not sure I would have even known where to begin on this on if I’d focused at all on shortcomings of the justice system in trying to articulate my response to the question of what I think about this particular issue. But I agree it does deserve special consideration when it comes to seriously considering ways to deal with things like this, because how child molesters are dealt with is, from that angle, definitely a facet of the justice system (as in, I *do* think that shortcomings in specific instances like the signs in Florida can usually be traced back to it, and that in dealing with one, the other ought to be addressed). Of course, I’m not looking to make a difference here, just saying my piece and letting the chips fall where they may in terms of any ‘ripple effect’ it has for anyone reading it, but I do agree. The only problem is, I doubt the justice system will ever be ‘perfect’ or much better.

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