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betsy

Sex Offender Registry: Is It Just?

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Although some of us do not think the penalties for some offenses are stiffed enough...still, if an offender had served his sentences, doesn't he have the same rights that we all do?

The recent alleged killings of two sex-offenders by a Canadian, who had looked up these two victims from the registry online, proved that ex-convicts on the list are being put into danger.

Imagine serving time and coming out to supposed freedom...and yet, nervously looking over your shoulders, fearing for your safety, not only from those bent on vengeance....but also from lunatics.

This is a violation of human rights.

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Although some of us do not think the penalties for some offenses are stiffed enough...still, if an offender had served his sentences, doesn't he have the same rights that we all do?

The recent alleged killings of two sex-offenders by a Canadian, who had looked up these two victims from the registry online, proved that ex-convicts on the list are being put into danger.

Imagine serving time and coming out to supposed freedom...and yet, nervously looking over your shoulders, fearing for your safety, not only from those bent on vengeance....but also from lunatics.

This is a violation of human rights.

How about the rights of their victims, past and future?

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Although some of us do not think the penalties for some offenses are stiffed enough...still, if an offender had served his sentences, doesn't he have the same rights that we all do?

The recent alleged killings of two sex-offenders by a Canadian, who had looked up these two victims from the registry online, proved that ex-convicts on the list are being put into danger.

Imagine serving time and coming out to supposed freedom...and yet, nervously looking over your shoulders, fearing for your safety, not only from those bent on vengeance....but also from lunatics.

This is a violation of human rights.

Ok, here's what gets me about this argument. On one side there's innocent children freely mingling in society. On the other side there's sex offenders having free access to the children, theoretically. All you're worried about is some filthy scums rights?

Those people have a sickness or perversion that has criminal consequences. A known sex offender should not have all the rights as the rest of us because they have proven that they can't keep their hands off of innocent children. Would you put the fox back into the chicken house?

A violent criminal killing sex offenders is an isolated incident. Sex offenders reoffending is not.

A registry is a good idea and frankly, I'd never hunt them down myself, but I don't shed tears for them when some other whacko does.

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A violent criminal killing sex offenders is an isolated incident. Sex offenders reoffending is not.

I would generally agree with this statement. While I acknowledge the concerns raised by Betsy, the sex-offender registry is a balancing act...the rights of the offender who has served his sentence versus the rights of the victims and the public at large.

My inagural post on a new criminal law blog was about the Alberta Court of Appeal's recent comments on the registry and many of the quotes I referenced there demonstrate just how this balancing act is done...acknowledging that there is a way for an offender to get an exemption from the registry if they can establish that the negative effects on them personally would be "grossly disproportionate" to any benefits that society would get from their name being included.

Calgary Criminal Lawyers' Weekly

I guess I feel that this possibility of exemption is enough to satisfy me that the registry is just when you look at the big picture.

FTA

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A violent criminal killing sex offenders is an isolated incident. Sex offenders reoffending is not.

I would generally agree with this statement. While I acknowledge the concerns raised by Betsy, the sex-offender registry is a balancing act...the rights of the offender who has served his sentence versus the rights of the victims and the public at large.

My inagural post on a new criminal law blog was about the Alberta Court of Appeal's recent comments on the registry and many of the quotes I referenced there demonstrate just how this balancing act is done...acknowledging that there is a way for an offender to get an exemption from the registry if they can establish that the negative effects on them personally would be "grossly disproportionate" to any benefits that society would get from their name being included.

Calgary Criminal Lawyers' Weekly

I guess I feel that this possibility of exemption is enough to satisfy me that the registry is just when you look at the big picture.

FTA

If the offender committed his/her crimes against children, there should be no exemption. If their past crimes were violent (including rape which is an act of violence), there should be very few exemptions. However, when we just say 'sex crimes', the registry becomes a little murky, because this can be a very broad definition.

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Sure, while we're at it have a registry for everyone coming out of prison. NOT. They've served their time folks. There are some Catholic Priests that are a greater danger than some of the peds.

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If a convict had already paid out his crimes by serving time....a penalty that society had deemed right, then why should he lose his privacy and get himself become a sitting duck for any zealots who would take a notion to get a few sex offenders off the face of the earth?

If there is a chance to re-offend...then, this guy ought to be in prison.

But if he had already served time and deemed rehabilitated....then, he should be given the same chance as everybody else.

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Hold on a minute newbie and betsy...

Both of you are saying that the registry is wrong because it is further punishment after an offender has already served the punishment that society has deemed appropriate...this is wrong.

The requirement to be registered is actually part of the statutorily proscribed punishment for "designated offences" by way of the Sex Offender Information Registration Act and s. 490.012 of the Criminal Code. Society, through Parliament has dictated that these offenders need to be in a registry in addition to any other punishment they get, unless they can establish that they should be exempted from such registration.

As with any other offence, the offender is deemed in law to know the consequences of committing the crime, and one of the consequences includes being registered.

The wording of the section compelling the court to order registration shows that this is not a punishment added on after punishment is served, it is punishment given together with the specified sentence:

A court shall, on application of the prosecutor, make an order...requiring a person to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act...as soon as possible after it imposes a sentence on the person...

Also, the wording of the exemption section goes a long way to demonstrating that the registration requirement has not been imposed without much consideration of all of the competing interests to ensure a fair and just scheme:

The court is not required to make an order...if it is satisfied that the person has established that, if the order were made, the impact on them, including on their privacy or liberty, would be grossly disproportionate to the public interest in protecting society through the effective investigation of crimes of a sexual nature, to be achieved by the registration of information relating to sex offenders...

Registration is no more an unjust ad-hoc punishment than the actual jail sentence itself for these sexual crimes, and there is a 100% fool-proof way to prevent yourself from being in a sex-offender registry...don't commit sexual crimes.

FTA

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FTA, I was speaking in principle terms, not legal. We need a system change, not more legislation, registration, etc. etc. And like I said, it's a toss up whether I want a convicted pedophile living next to me versus a Catholic Priest who has been transferred out of a parish where he has offended. As far as protecting human rights, I have rethought the situation: chemical castration or stay in prison.

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FTA, thanks for clearing that up. Does the registration supposed to be made public though? Not just for correctional officers or law enforcements' eyes only?

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Ask yourself this...

How can we possibly know if an offender will reoffend? We can't get inside his head to have a look, so a registry seems a good alternative.

I think voluntary castration would be a good way to get an offender to be considered for exemption from the registry.

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How can we possibly know if an offender will reoffend? We can't get inside his head to have a look, so a registry seems a good alternative.

Quick theisis on this subject. First, there is nothing abnormal about wanting to screw a child. Check out classical Greek versions of what is beautiful and not. Sexual desire has always been for the young and virile subjects. Pretty much every person has a deep dark sexual desire and fetish of some kind. Some like big boobs or big (VP Cheny's first name) or other specific things that 'get them off' and fill their fantasys. Some like animals, others leather. Most range within the normal when it comes to the subject of their desire as in opposite sex or same sex but the common denominator is that the suject is a willing one, both cognisent and able to control the situation equally as much as possible.

And here is where the evil occurs, because up until now, there is actually nothing abnormal or evil happening.

When the suject is unwilling as in a rape victim, that is heinious. When it is a child, it is unthinkably evil as the child cannot physically defend themselves and mentally have no understanding of how even if they could. To top that off, to a developing mind, an act such as this can form a basis for dysfunctions that last eternity. To selfishly act on an urge with this as the consequenses, the perpetrator shows not his sexual preferences but, how low and unhuman he or she will go to 'get off.'

They throw away all boundaries of decency, morality, humanity and go into the side of the mind that is capable of murder as they have basically shown that they have no soul as they are killing a soul that cannot defend themselves for the rest of their lives. For that, there is no cure. These people are akin to Hitler, in that the eveil they are capable of is ingrained and unless there is a SOUL INJECTING MACHINE on the market, they will remain so with or without a sexual urge. Hence, there's nothing wrong with letting the world know where they are. Heck, if double parked BMWs were the worst offence on earth they should be listed too but, there are far worse things to pay attention to and this is one of them. It's not a sexual crime, it's a crime against humanity.

And, if those who choose to act and murder these people based on whatever and the listing on an internet site or whatever, heck, we all in the phone book man. Some freak could randomly pick my nuber tommorow.

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Well there is a few problems with this system, ethically and practically, as well as a few positives of the system.

Problem 1

Do you actually look up everyone on your street in the registry to be safe? Nah. I can see a few situations when maybe someone might after being suspicious, but then they should be notifying the police anyways. Not finding a name on the list might give people a false sense of security.

Problem 2

Once the time has been served, the debt to society has been deemed to be paid off. They should really have no reflection on those past problems, they have been paid up.

Problem 3

It results in pedophiles deaths. Personally, I don't have much regard for such people, but they do have a right to life, unless you are a support of capital punishment for these people. The registry system pretty much has these people out of jail and thrown to the dogs.

Positive 1

You might find out if some pedophile is on your street... what you can do, is pretty much nothing but watch him/her?

Personally, I'm against the registries from a civil liberties stand point. I also strongly contend that they don't protect anyone. Should the police have their DNA and information on file? Absolutely. They could use it to check out people apply for jobs with kids and what not too, as part of a criminal background check. Do you or I need to access this information though? Not at all.

Keep the registries private for police use, let the police deal with the law. If you suspect something bad is happening with yours or someone elses kids, or could happen due to a stalker/creepy neighour or teacher or coach... call the police. End of story. What do you need the registry for, other than vigilante action?

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Do you actually look up everyone on your street in the registry to be safe?

Nope. I'm not a freak but, they are out there.

Once the time has been served, the debt to society has been deemed to be paid off. They should really have no reflection on those past problems, they have been paid up.

Legally it's called a pardon. I can shout from the highest rooftops that somebody has a criminal record though as long as it is within legal boundaries and does not constitute harassment. Tabloids do it all the time.

It results in pedophiles deaths.

If a freak didn't like aged bag swinging actresses then saying Za Za did this and that would result in her death. Give me a break.

Personally, I'm against the registries from a civil liberties stand point. I also strongly contend that they don't protect anyone.

Oh well, some like coke with rye and others straight up. So what? They are legal and some really feel good about them.

Keep the registries private for police use, let the police deal with the law.

They certainly would have arrested that freak if he hadn't killed himself so he broke the law, not the registry. I suppose that you also think the manufacturer of the gun was at fault as wel along with the truck driver who transported it to the store?

What do you need the registry for, other than vigilante action?

I went into a bit above. Myself, these peole are beyond humanity and are evil. Not maybe, but affirmed. Killing for a dollar is far less than killing a soul for an orgasm. There is something far more unhuman at work in those heads than greed. So, I don't mind a registry. If some use it as a viligante locatin device then that's another problem. And, like you say, let the police handle it.

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What do you need the registry for, other than vigilante action?

True. I had tried to imagine how it will be like to have been the parents of those two girls killed by Homolka and Bernardo....or any parents of killed children (what more when you've learned that your child did not die a quick death, but was tortured first). As a mother my soul will be consumed by pain...I will never get over it. I would've probably waited a few years after the culprit's release....then have my revenge.

There are others not related to victims but have a strong twisted desire to rid society of "evil."....or those strongly feeling that the justice system had failed them.

With the frustration going around about how the criminals seem to have more rights than the victims...and the leniency of the courts...is it too far-fetched to imagine that vigilante-ism is not being fantasized by some?

These monsters should have a longer prison stay without early parole. Imagine one being sentenced to 10 years...but usually getting out after serving only 4! The whole 10 years should be served! And that should be for the first offense!

Once you're "pardoned"....that should be it! You should have the right to a normal life like everyone else...without fear of being taken out just because your past sin and your whereabouts are posted publicly.

Not all ex-convicts re-offend.

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What do you need the registry for, other than vigilante action?

True. I had tried to imagine how it will be like to have been the parents of those two girls killed by Homolka and Bernardo....or any parents of killed children (what more when you've learned that your child did not die a quick death, but was tortured first). As a mother my soul will be consumed by pain...I will never get over it. I would've probably waited a few years after the culprit's release....then have my revenge.

There are others not related to victims but have a strong twisted desire to rid society of "evil."....or those strongly feeling that the justice system had failed them.

With the frustration going around about how the criminals seem to have more rights than the victims...and the leniency of the courts...is it too far-fetched to imagine that vigilante-ism is not being fantasized by some?

These monsters should have a longer prison stay without early parole. Imagine one being sentenced to 10 years...but usually getting out after serving only 4! The whole 10 years should be served! And that should be for the first offense!

Once you're "pardoned"....that should be it! You should have the right to a normal life like everyone else...without fear of being taken out just because your past sin and your whereabouts are posted publicly.

Not all ex-convicts re-offend.

When Clifford Olsen was doing his thing, we were living in the general area at the time and our children were both in the same age group as his victims. I can still remember the fear felt by all parents in the area at that time. Sex offenders are predators. I'm not going to lose any sleep if they happen to feel like the hunted for a change.

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Sex offenders are predators.

And worse. They prey upon the most helpless and fragile beings. Beings that no person with any shred of a soul would never consider harming. Thus, they are the embodiement of evil in this world. While a prison stay may change some of the core values of a person, it does not replace a soul that is black and shrivelled.

Sure, they have paid their debt to society, that's why I don't hunt them all down myself and many like me, however, that does not mean that we have to unknowingly offer our children to them as a test of their rehabilitation. Until they make registries illegal, I'm all for them in this case.

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If a convict had already paid out his crimes by serving time....a penalty that society had deemed right, then why should he lose his privacy and get himself become a sitting duck for any zealots who would take a notion to get a few sex offenders off the face of the earth?

If there is a chance to re-offend...then, this guy ought to be in prison.

But if he had already served time and deemed rehabilitated....then, he should be given the same chance as everybody else.

I understand your points, Betsy. Perhaps one way of thinking of it is that placing the offender's name on the Sex Offender Registry is part of the sentence for their having committed a sexually-related crime.

Another issue is whether our justice system is intended to punish or rehabilitate and whether it's effective at either, especially the latter.

ETA: As a couple of other posters have suggested, I'd support voluntary castration as a way of getting an offender's name off the registry. (Also just noticed FTA's earlier post on the registry and sentencing.)

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If there is a chance to re-offend...then, this guy ought to be in prison.

Hey, I'm all for that! In the meantime, let's set up a registry so that the most vulnerable and fragile members of our society don't have to be sacrificial bait to see if these evil people without conscience have been rehabilitated or not.

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Would you be content with a registry meant for the eyes of law enforcers only? In other words, not made public?

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Heavens to betsy:

Would you be content with a registry meant for the eyes of law enforcers only? In other words, not made public?
They already have that. The vernacular term is 'a rap sheet'. The point of registries such as these is to warn the public that a person who is potentially (and likely) dangerous is coming into their community. It irks me all the time when I read in the paper, "So-and-So is being released into your community, we consider him a high risk to re-offend."

In other words, "so and so' got a puny sentence, which happens far too often, and it is only a matter of time before your little Egbert or Lulubelle gets kidnapped and sodomized, but we have no choice but to release him".

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Would you be content with a registry meant for the eyes of law enforcers only? In other words, not made public?

No. Let's set up a registry so that the most vulnerable and fragile members of our society don't have to be sacrificial bait to see if these evil people without conscience have been rehabilitated or not.

You people seem to be against the registry because it is an error on the part of the government. Hit on them, they are the ones who let them out. Here, I shall attempt to put this in a different perspective.

A class two set of rapids is negotiable by a novice in normal conditions. Now, say that that set of rapids is on a remote river in the NWT, and, has cliffs on either side negating any escape if things go south, then add in the prospect of a forty foot waterfalls immediately after the only pullout for your canoe. That set of rapids is viewed as a class four now because of the risk and, there being no margin for error.

Such is the case here. The government has to let them out but, we all know that there is no margin for error.

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They certainly would have arrested that freak if he hadn't killed himself so he broke the law, not the registry. I suppose that you also think the manufacturer of the gun was at fault as wel along with the truck driver who transported it to the store?

Absolutely not. I'm not in favour of gun registries or bans either. If the gun was found through the gun registry and stolen, then yes, I would blame the gun registry. Just like how I blame the pedophile registry for the deaths of these two people.

Would you be content with a registry meant for the eyes of law enforcers only? In other words, not made public?

No. Let's set up a registry so that the most vulnerable and fragile members of our society don't have to be sacrificial bait to see if these evil people without conscience have been rehabilitated or not.

It's not even about seeing if they are reformed or not. How will the registry prevent more crimes, other than setting up a list of targets for vigilanties? Pragmatically, a pedophile registry cannot possibly do anything besides give some ridiculous false sense of security.

Like I said, if you suspect something happening, call the police.

You sound almost as ridiculous as liberal types defending the gun registry. Just because its registred, it won't do anything. And, if we make a list of them that is publically accesible, none will get stolen (or with the pedophiles killed).

What the hell is the point? Seems like a waste of tax money for no results besides a false sense of security. Pure political posturing.

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Dear geoffrey,

Pragmatically, a pedophile registry cannot possibly do anything besides give some ridiculous false sense of security.
Let's say some new guy moved in next door to you, your wife and 2 kids. Seems like a nice guy, helped you push you car out a snowbank one morning, had a beer over the back fence with him and talked about how you both dislike the skyrocketing salaries of pro athletes.

Then your wife calls and tells you she just got a flat tire about 10 miles from home. You wonder if he would mind watching your kids for 1/2 hr while you help the wife...

Would you if his name was in the registry? Or would you have already told your kids, "Never, ever go near that man"?

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KrustyKidd

You wrote - " No, let's set up a registry so that the most vulnerable and fragile members of society don't have to be sacrificial bait to see if these evil people without conscience have been rehabilitated or not."

There will always be sex crimes as we ARE ALL sexual creatures and some people more than others take advantage of an illegal sex act ignoring all consequences provided by society due to a variety of reasons.

I fail to see the difference as far as the criminal act goes between a child or a women or man or boy of any age who as been duped in one way or the other or viciously attacked in a sexual manner by a person bent on or driven by any reason to satisfy his or her craving by way of illegal criminal sex acts.

In fact psychological ramifications can be devastating or even cripple the mind of any victim of a forced sexual act.

I would like to see a registry for all criminals concerning all crimes of a fairly serious nature as I would like to know who my neighbours really are.

But a registry especially a public one for a crime based on sexual assault of one sort or another in my mind bears resemblence to when we burn't people alive mainly women for the crime of being labelled a witch.

It is up to authorites I think if they think a crime of this nature superceeds all other crimes is to initially increase jail time to whatever they think is appropiate. And from what I'am reading here is nothing short of throwing the key away for good is the answer.

This of course could also apply to a long list of other serious crimes that are just as equally offensive and damaging to different members of society that are the cause of serious personal ramifications.

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