Are sexual offense laws too harsh? And do they work?

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In [the book] "Justice Perverted," [Professor Charles Patrick] Ewing examines what he calls "radically reshaped" laws dealing with the country's sex offenders. These laws include ordering sex offenders to register with authorities, punishment for people possessing child pornography that "dwarfs" sentences for more violent crimes, including murder, and a federal law that requires a minimum 10-year prison sentence for those using the Internet to lure minors for sex. All these dramatic changes in sex offender laws have come about at least partly from input from the fields of psychology, psychiatry and the social sciences, according to Ewing. [...]

And Ewing's research and experience in many trials - both nationally notorious as well as obscure - conclude that enforcement and administration of many of these significantly more restrictive sex offense laws rely heavily the opinions of mental-health professionals.

source: 'Are Sexual Offense Laws Too Harsh? And Do They Work?'; www.buffalo.edu/news/12329; UB NewsCenter; 2 March 2011