Modern lepers and old ideas

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During the Dark Ages in Europe, those afflicted with leprosy were shunned as social outcasts and forced to live in exile and misery. When a leper walked the streets, he was required to sound a rattle to announce his presence. In the early 21st century in America, those convicted of a sexual crime are social outcasts, banished from a growing number of communities. After serving whatever sentence was imposed, they have few rights of privacy, are shunned and in many places must wear a monitoring device. The fear of the unknown drives us to strange lengths in the name of public protection, and we are no more immune today from overreaction than our well-meaning ancestors were 1,000 years ago.

source: Article 'Modern lepers and old ideas' by Fred LeBrun;; Times Union; 6 January 2006