In a world of were the children of today are the future of tomorrow, it is understandable why we try so hard to protect our children from sex offenders. The problem is when it comes to making these laws, not everyone reacts with logic. Instead, they react with fear and rage resulting in laws that unjustly punish offenders. Because people don’t understand that all sex offenders are not a threat to society, they place all sex offenders in the same type of category. The laws cause misconception and in some cases hate as well as extreme fear.Something must be done to raise awareness of this situation so that sex offender registry laws can be revised to prevent low risk offenders from being unjustly punished. My goal is to help those people become aware of the many different types of sex offenders, so that they too can see that the laws are unjust and the policies need to be revised.
You could say the registry began with three small town Minnesota boys riding their bikes to a convenience store in October 1989. As they walked home on the dark road that night, a man stepped out of the darkness holding a gun. He told one of the boys to lie face down on the ground, and instructed the other 2 to run into the woods and never look back. Despite countless efforts to locate the child, 11 year old Jacob Wetterling was never heard from again. It was this incident that caused President Bill Clinton to form a bill in 1995 that would keep track of all sex offenders. The Jacob Wetterling act required states to create sex offender registries accessible to police to help keep track of people who commit sex crimes, though at the time this information was not available to the public.That same year, 7 year old Megan Kanka was lured across, raped and murdered by a twice convicted pedophile that lived across the street. Megan’s parents constantly told the media that if they knew a sex offender lived across the street, they could have better protected their daughter. It was from these very statements that Megan’s laws were put into effect, requiring that every state have a sex offender registry and it be made available to the public.
We all know what a violent sex offender is, but not many of us know what a low risk sex offender is. Low risk sex offenders are those who commit non violent crimes such as indecent exposure, soliciting to a prostitute, and statutory rape. For example, if a man is caught trying to buy a prostitute, he has committed a sex crime and if convicted will be labeled a sex offender. This would be an example of soliciting to a prostitute. Couples caught having sex in a park, or someone caught masturbating in a public place would be cases of indecent exposure. Statutory rape is the most common of the sex crimes. In my opinion it is also the most misunderstood. According to the law, statutory rape is consensual sex involving a minor who can not legally consent to sex. These are the Romeo and Juliet cases where 15 year olds are having sex willingly, and because the law says they cannot consent to sex it is called statutory rape. The perception of what the government considers a child is constantly changing. For example, a 15 year old cannot consent to sex but they can be tried as an adult in a court of law.
Just hearing the word sex offender disgusts most people, and gives them an immediate need to protect themselves and their families. When receiving those post cards in the mail, very seldom do they do research on the nature of the sex crime the offender has committed, but instead their minds often assume the worst type of offenders such as your pedophiles and sexual predators. It is not my intent to revise the laws for these types of offenders, as I truly believe that this public tracking method was made specifically with those harmful types of offenders in mind. It’s the low risk offenders who are perceived as a danger to society that should not have to live there lives in the public...