Sex, lies and exploitation
New Jersey is conducting a study on sex offender registration. The information released thus far shows that a decrease in such crimes began in 1990, four years prior to Megan's Law, and has continued a steady decline. Complete results are due out early next year. England has recently concluded a 10-year study and found registration to be detrimental to the safety of children so such information will be available only to specified people. There is no proof that the American registration system has saved a single child but there is ample proof that it has cost lives.
We must decide what we expect of the registry. It works for minding your neighbor's business. It does nothing for keeping children safe. It is a shame that a registered sex offender killed a little girl in Florida. It is also said that an adult beheaded a 4-year-old girl using hedge clippers. Both are equally dead and both died under rather rare circumstances. Few have heard of one child while the other is nationally exploited to instill fear, garner votes and achieve fame and fortune. Why is one tiny life so much more valuable than the other? There are more than 600,000 registered sex offenders in our country. If they acted the way you expect them to act we would not still be talking about a case that happened 2 years ago. Less than .05% of sex offenders are capable of abducting and killing and you think they are going to seek out your child? We give harsher sentences for touching a child than for murdering one. [...]
Social security is going to hell, many Americans can't afford health care, education sucks, we have a huge immigration problem, a war in Iraq that we can't afford and terrorists blowing us up in our own land. The public brushes all of that aside to live in fear of one scrawny, registered sex offender who lives down the street. This is truly pathetic.
source: Article 'Sex, Lies and Exploitation' by Shirley Lowery; www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=27107; American Chronicle; 14 May 2007