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…
…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)