Are sex offender laws too punitive and draconian?

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salad
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03 Aug 2021, 4:06 am

Obviously people like Bill Cosby and Harvey Winstein type rapists should be punished harder and too many rich celebrities get away with all types of horrible atrocities that never should be allowed

And yes we have people like Larry Nassar that deserve the death penalty

However that's not who this post is about

Its about the millions of Americans disenfranchised from society and harshly punished for sex offender laws where quite frankly the crime is being punished far more disproportionately than common sense would dictate, especially when compared to far more nefarious crimes like assault and murder

Basically I'm talking about the millions of people on sex offender registries like 18 year olds consensually sleeping with their 17 year old classmates, or any adult sleeping with an adult looking teen who lied about his/her age, or those who commit indecent exposure.

I'm not saying some of these offenses like indecent exposure arent bad and warranting a penalty, but when I look at the existing laws targeting low tier sex offenders like the ones I mentioned above, not monsters like Cosby and Larry Nassar, I feel like they go overboard.

I'm making this thread because my whole life when I thought of sex offenders I assumed that they are these terrible monsters and predators out to snatch innocent girls and that's why they warrant the most severe punishment

But learning about sex offenders whose lives are forever destroyed, homeless, unemployed, forced to wear an anklet monitor and be tracked perpetually, over minor offenses no where near as bad as worse crimes that dont get the same penalty, that's when I realized modern sex offender registries and crimes are waaaay too punitive, draconian and quite frankly unproductive

I have no sympathy for evil crimes like what Brock Turner did, but I do cry for that homeless guy I see every week in Minneapolis who happens to be a sex offender whose crime sleeping with a girl he thought was an adult who lied about her age


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Fnord
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03 Aug 2021, 8:30 am

salad wrote:
Are sex offender laws too punitive and draconian?
No.  Absolutely not!  Once a sex-offender, always a sex-offender.



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03 Aug 2021, 9:13 am

Depends on the case. Like you said, if a young person, let's say 20 year old, gets in trouble for sleeping with a 17 year old who lied about their age, then that is indeed bad because the older person had no idea they were committing a crime. I mean, what should they have done, asked for the younger one's ID before sex? If they met at a place with an age limit, that makes it even more unfair to the so called criminal. Of course one would expect that everyone in a place that doesn't allow people under 18 to enter would actually be 18 or above!
Reminds me of this one case in a drama I watch, where a 19 or so year old woman had gone to the bar with the age limit of 18 (legal drinking age here) and met a guy she hooked up with during the same night. The bar had age limit of 18 and the guy lied he was in university (while actually being in 9th grade), so in all fairness, the woman shouldn't have gotten in trouble, but wrong people found out about it and the woman got sued for child molesting. She was seen as non-guilty since the guy admitted everything, though, but things don't always go that well in real life.

But in most cases, I feel like punishments for sexual crimes are way too small, though what the punishment for what is depends largely on where one lives.



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03 Aug 2021, 9:26 am

David Berg, the pedophile leader of the evil cult "Children of God", forced Serena Kelley to marry him at just three years old.  She told a reporter: "The sexual abuse started when I was only a toddler -- I remember being groped by Berg, who I was encouraged to call 'Grandpa' when I was two, and learning to swim in his pool while an orgy took place.  I was beaten and men and boys regularly sexually abused me -- it was a part of daily life for me and the other children, and I always felt unsafe."

"Reverend" David Berg died in 1994.



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03 Aug 2021, 9:29 am

Interesting question.
These kinds of questions are what happens when you think independently.
(Which would argue is laudable)

Well - it's a wiggly world.
If going to live with other people (civilization) then someone needs to draw straight lines through that wiggly world to delineate exactly what are the rules.
Legislators draw the lines (laws);
Police enforce the lines;
Lawyers hassle and argue which side of the line one was on (which is why lawyers tend to be very concrete people and do not at all tolerate ambiguity)

So, seems the question is: are the lines drawn fairly, which is a legislation question.
Reasonable people could argue every side to move the line one way or another.

Ultimately all of this is arbitrary and not even real - just as lines of latitude and longitude do not actually exist on the earth.

It's all just artificial agreement to keep order.



salad
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03 Aug 2021, 11:59 am

Fnord wrote:
salad wrote:
Are sex offender laws too punitive and draconian?
No.  Absolutely not!  Once a sex-offender, always a sex-offender.


The data on recidivism actually shows a very low recidivism rate for sex offenders compared to other crimes, in spite of the ultra draconian nature of said laws that would exacerbate recidivism

I understand why you feel strongly on this topic, believe me I do, however it's not fair to decide the fate of others on emotional impulse


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salad
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03 Aug 2021, 12:01 pm

Fnord wrote:
David Berg, the pedophile leader of the evil cult "Children of God", forced Serena Kelley to marry him at just three years old.  She told a reporter: "The sexual abuse started when I was only a toddler -- I remember being groped by Berg, who I was encouraged to call 'Grandpa' when I was two, and learning to swim in his pool while an orgy took place.  I was beaten and men and boys regularly sexually abused me -- it was a part of daily life for me and the other children, and I always felt unsafe."

"Reverend" David Berg died in 1994.


The thing is that this post isnt about monsters like that

This post is about that 18 year old who slept with his 17 year old classmate not realizing she didnt turn 18 yet, or that guy who did indecent exposure which while odious doesnt warrant the types of penalties we have now


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03 Aug 2021, 12:11 pm

salad wrote:
Fnord wrote:
David Berg, the pedophile leader of the evil cult "Children of God", forced Serena Kelley to marry him at just three years old.  She told a reporter: "The sexual abuse started when I was only a toddler -- I remember being groped by Berg, who I was encouraged to call 'Grandpa' when I was two, and learning to swim in his pool while an orgy took place.  I was beaten and men and boys regularly sexually abused me -- it was a part of daily life for me and the other children, and I always felt unsafe."  "Reverend" David Berg died in 1994.
The thing is that this post isn't about monsters like that. This post is about that 18 year old who slept with his 17 year old classmate not realizing she didn't turn 18 yet, or that guy who did indecent exposure which while odious doesn't warrant the types of penalties we have now
A sex offender is a sex offender, regardless of the magnitude of the crime.



salad
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03 Aug 2021, 12:16 pm

Fnord wrote:
salad wrote:
Fnord wrote:
David Berg, the pedophile leader of the evil cult "Children of God", forced Serena Kelley to marry him at just three years old.  She told a reporter: "The sexual abuse started when I was only a toddler -- I remember being groped by Berg, who I was encouraged to call 'Grandpa' when I was two, and learning to swim in his pool while an orgy took place.  I was beaten and men and boys regularly sexually abused me -- it was a part of daily life for me and the other children, and I always felt unsafe."  "Reverend" David Berg died in 1994.
The thing is that this post isn't about monsters like that. This post is about that 18 year old who slept with his 17 year old classmate not realizing she didn't turn 18 yet, or that guy who did indecent exposure which while odious doesn't warrant the types of penalties we have now
A sex offender is a sex offender, regardless of the magnitude of the crime.


You're right and that's why I'm not here to quibble with you over the semantics of what is a sex offender

My only cavil is that the magnitude should make a difference as to the penalty of sex offenders receive. To punish that 18 year old who slept with his 17 year old classmate so harshly as to forever put him on a sex offender registry where everyone can see him and vigilantes will be hunting him, force him to wear an anklet he cant remove, be perpetually tracked, and be forever barred from society, I cant see that is reasonable. The above punishment makes sense for higher tier sex offenders like Larry Nassar, not low level offenders like the ones I described. Remember, I know murderers and wife beaters who arent even punished a fraction as hard


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03 Aug 2021, 12:19 pm

I think an 18 year old having sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend hardly constitutes a crime worthy of being on the sex offender registry for life.


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Harry Haller
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03 Aug 2021, 3:02 pm

VegetableMan wrote:
I think an 18 year old having sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend hardly constitutes a crime worthy of being on the sex offender registry for life.

Reasonable man.
Yeah, I can see that. (But I'm no legislator, thank the baby Jesus)

Sex laws differ vastly depending on locality.
Be interesting to see a sociological study correlating Religiosity/Puritanicalism with harshness of laws respecting sexual infraction. - Or even what is considered infraction.

Hypothesis is the correlation would be positive.

(This stuff is actually all made up, you know)


P.S. - like yer Krishnamurti quote - how true)



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03 Aug 2021, 3:20 pm

I would say the laws need to be modified for such cases. A case by case decision, if you will.

Yeah, Krisnamurti. First read one of his books when I was 19. It changed the way I thought forever.


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03 Aug 2021, 3:46 pm

Public urination can make one a sex criminal in jurisdictions.

I don't think it's a matter of too punitive and draconian so much as there's areas where we don't demonstrate an understanding of severity/degree.

They're probably appropriate for the worst of the worst but most offenders aren't the worst of the worst. You probably shouldn't be on a registry for life because you had a picture of your pecker on your phone when you were 16 or got caught peeing in an alleyway when you were 19.


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03 Aug 2021, 3:52 pm

I don’t think the “young love” scenarios should warrant being on a registry, nor should public nudity or public urination.


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03 Aug 2021, 4:26 pm

So get Congress to change the laws to exempt consensual acts and public urination from the list of sex offenses.

Simple, right?



funeralxempire
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03 Aug 2021, 4:29 pm

Fnord wrote:
So get Congress to change the laws to exempt consensual acts and public urination from the list of sex offenses.

Simple, right?


Easier said than done, still causes an undue burden for people until the problem is resolved.

So no, it's not actually as simple as you state.


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